Thursday, January 31, 2013

Just Chasing Kids With a Camera

Photo Challenges

I've spent several hours at preschool this week taking photos for a brochure. Can I just say it's like herding kittens?! I have to hand it to both parents and teachers as it can be exhausting being with little people. They move so fast! But, it's also very cute. Some love to have their photo taken while others are quite shy. Some of the best photos were taken of the children looking at bugs up close with magnifying glasses in the garden. Actually, they were mostly slugs. You could not pay me enough to pick up a slug but kids think it's pretty neat.

It also gave me an opportunity to practice using my external flash which was exciting. So interesting to see the differences in light depending on where the flash is aimed. It's really hard to get any kind of decent photo without the flash in the classrooms with fluorescent lighting. Those taken in diffused light outdoors came out like butter. Except for the expressions. Try getting all smiling faces in a group - now, that is a challenge!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Gerbera Time

Gerbera Daisy

Love the multi colors in these flowers. Somehow I seem to gravitate towards these versus the solid color flowers.
And yes, they came from Trader Joe's. It's the first thing I look for when I enter the store each week. 

Nipper loves them too. The last time I bought these she ate a lot of the petals! She tends to eat any flower that's in the kitchen, but rarely bothers the flowers in my bedroom. However, the last time I bought gerberas (one of her favorites), there she was in the middle of the night on my nightstand, munching away. Gracie loves cheese and butter;  thankfully does not eat my flowers. There's nothing worse than waking up to flowers whose petals are all on the table. Silly cat!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Happy Heart


My sister reminded me tonight that it's almost February. I'm not sure heartful is a real word but it seems appropriate somehow. February is a special month for me with so many notable days.

National Heart Month.

Valentine's Day.

President's Day.

My birthday.

Plus, I often take a week vacation. So, with the end of January approaching next week, I'm looking forward to the new month. Not that I want the present to go by too fast, mind you.


Monday, January 21, 2013


Photo processed with Happy Heart, Sweet Treat and Charmed textures by Kim Klassen for Texture Tuesday.
Roses = Happiness

Yellow roses? White roses? Pink roses? So many choices at my local Trader Joe's this weekend. I finally chose these multi-colored roses with pink and tinges of green and ivory. Totally enjoyed photographing these today. So much for my holiday; however, I decided this morning that I was going to do whatever I happened to feel like doing. No pressure of the must-do's. No, it was a total day off and I spent quite some time taking photos.

I also cooked up a pot of vegetarian chile and brown rice, sauteed Swiss chard, roasted baby golden beets and squash, made an apple/pear/orange/banana smoothie and cleaned the kitchen. That was after the oatmeal breakfast with apples, bananas, raisins, dried peaches, almonds, cinnamon, flax seed, and soy milk. Not bad for a holiday.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Be Inspired (Plus, Bonus Project!)


Joy - the feeling I get when I process my photos in Photoshop Elements or Lightroom. Love how there are so many enhancements that can be done and take a photo from fine to something more special. Loving RadLab plug-ins which make it so easy to get so many different looks.

Fabric Frame Project
Take a photo frame and remove back and the glass. Cut a piece of stiff, thin chipboard (or cardboard, matte board or cork) a little shorter than the size of a photo and wrap it with batting. Lay flat on a piece of fabric (wrong side up) about an inch larger on each side (you can adjust to your comfort depending on the size of the frame). Fold over one edge and tape down. Pull tautly on the opposite side and tape down the side. Do the same for the remaining two sides. Place into the frame and replace the backing used to stand or hang the frame.

I love to use Dupioni silk on mine as it just adds a wonderful touch of elegance. The above frame was made with white silk.

Finishing touches: Decorate with jewelry, notes, swatches, or anything that can be posted or hung with pins. Bonus: use adorable pins like the heart pin above - there are many you can find with art supplies.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Long Weekends - A Time to Catch Up


A three day weekend is almost here. Oh, how I love long weekends. 

I'm still in the new year mindset, so I'll be making progress on my latest de-cluttering project. I boxed up lots of things last weekend and it made a huge difference already. 

My goals for this year are almost complete - I just need to add more detail in the action steps. 

Gracie will be so happy to have that extra day so I expect I'll be giving her some quality cat time. Did you happen to catch that great program on Nature about cats and dogs last night on PBS? A really wonderful program; if it comes on again I highly recommend watching it. It just made me love Gracie all the more. 

Of course, my weekend will start off with a short trip to the vet because Nippy will not let me apply ointment to her paw. My vet has a hard time believing I can't hold the 15 pound cat who refuses to have her paws touched or be held, and apply ointment. Luckily, he's doing it for free for three days. Nippy is not too happy, to say the least. If only they understood.

So many possibilities for the weekend. I have some catching up to do on my reading, and a get-together with a friend. Maybe even a mini-adventure. Yes, three day weekends are a good thing.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Just Do It!

2013 Mantra

I'm adopting this as my mantra this year. It's something I need to do. You see, I tend to live in my head a lot. When I'm interested in something, my natural inclination is to find out as much as I can. Sometimes this goes too far as I spend more time researching, reading and taking classes rather than doing. So this year, I want to just do it.

I can tell you about all the newest movies, even though I haven't seen them. I know tons of tips for healthy living but I don't follow them all. Oh, nothing serious, just like not getting enough sleep, being less sedentary, getting five full servings of vegetables each day. I actually have a very healthy diet! But, I certainly want to take more photos this year and put into practice all of what I've been learning. And, I want to use Lightroom more rather than using Photoshop for my photo enhancements.

Those are just a few examples. So, just do it is what I need to remind myself. Oh, the chalkboard above is one of my flea market finds from my recent trip. Perfect for reminding me of what's important.

Do you have a mantra or words to live by for 2013?


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Post Holiday Home

Must I put all the holiday decor away? Not only do I still have Christmas lights in my kitchen (by the Merry Christmas sign), I still have this little vignette in my bedroom. It's just so sweet that had to leave it up for a while longer. 

Oh, and did I mention the pine wreath and garland that greets you upon entering through my front door?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Flea Market Finds

New Treasures From the Flea

After missing the flea market in December due to heavy rain, I made it back last weekend. Always a great time! I adore this glass photo frame with bird on top. I should have bought another but who knew I would like it so much? I do have a thing for birds.
Yeah, I don't really bake cupcakes. But, these cupcake holders were so pretty I figured I could use them to put things in. Really light things! Not sure what I'll do with them, but I know I'll find a use.

Among the vintage clothes, I found a cool yellow dress, a fluffy slip to wear under my vintage dresses, and a grey sweater with little pink roses. The sweater is actually too big for me, but it was really cold outside so I didn't want to take off my coat to try it on. Even the vendor was sitting inside her van trying to keep warm - I just paid through the window!
I'm so liking my Tom Thumb typewriter from the 1930's. Yes, it is a bit rusty and a lot of the paint is chipping off. But, that gives it character, doesn't it? I think so. It makes a nice prop and I can type little messages.

We arrived there at 8 a.m. where it was about 42 degrees. I was bundled up as usual but one of the first stops was getting hot chocolate. It didn't help too much but eventually it got a bit warmer. What I really like about being there is that I get so focused and absorbed into looking at everything, that I don't think of anything else. Of course, my sister is thinking about food since she knows that we'll be going to lunch once I've finished perusing every aisle at the market. The flea market = so much fun. Wish it was held more often; then again, it's a good thing it isn't!


Monday, January 7, 2013

An Artful Surprise

I Love a Surprise

Some of my favorite magazines are those published by Stampington & Company. You know, Somerset Life, Somerset Home, Where Women Create, Holidays & Celebrations, and Greencraft, just to name a few. One of my very favorites is Artful Blogging

A few weeks ago, I received my pre-ordered Where Women Create Business in the mail. This is a special issue and the first time it's been published. I was excited to get it in the mail before it even hit the newsstand.
So there I was laying in bed late one night perusing my new magazine. As I normally do, I savored each page as I turned them. Toward the end of the magazine, there are a number of ads cross-promoting their sister magazines. I turned another page and then, the surprise.
Holy cow! One of my photos was in the ad promoting the upcoming Spring issue of Artful Blogging

In the upper left corner is a photo I took of me in a vintage yellow dress. It's not a surprise that my blog is being featured in this issue. No, I knew that, of course, as I wrote the article that will appear and supplied the accompanying photos. But to be one of six photos featured in the ad is a real honor. So looking forward to this. It's available on February 1; I do hope you enjoy it!

Just a reminder, I'm a guest blogger on the "WE" (Women Encouraged) Magazine website through January 8th. Linda Huffman has created a site with varied information for women. There's information on food, decorating, health, business and more. Thank you Linda for asking me to talk about creativty. If you'd like to read it, simply click on "Market Place" at the top left of the page. Enjoy!


Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Year, New Start

It's a New Year

Isn't it wonderful how it always feels like a new start when January comes around? Yes, it's time for resolutions and for many, it's a time to start getting fit and eating healthier. I can certainly say I'm glad to be (almost) done with all the holiday food. As much as I enjoy it, I also enjoy knowing that I'm eating healthily. So this week, I made a vegetable soup with barley and brown rice; and another with roasted butternut squash. If it wasn't for all the delicious sourdough bread I had with it, I'd be feeling really good.
Resolutions are not yet in final form. I'm actually trying to pare it down from previous years. One that I really want to work on is less time on digital media. Being on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Words With Friends, blogs, websites and more, as much as I love it and find it interesting, it does take quite a bit of time. Seeing the face of my poor little Miss Gracie staring at me each night as she wants me to spend time with her is just making me feel too guilty. Yes, she is a cat that is quite like a dog!
So many interests, so little time! Four large goals for this year include spending more time on my:
  1. photography
  2. blog
  3. calligraphy
  4. setting up an Etsy store
Oh, there are more, but these are key ones for me in the area of creativity.
How about you? What are some of your goals this year?


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome, 2013

Happy New Year!

Yeah for 2013 - a brand new year! I'm still working on my goals for this year - how about you? I usually have way too many to accomplish, but I do complete many. I'm just a bit over ambitious as there is so much I always want to do. I did buy a new small notebook to compile information about my goals. This past year, I was accumulating too many separate notebooks by each subject area. With the three ring binder, I'll put them all in one place. It's worth a try!

As of today, all of my holiday decorations are put away. Well, not all. There are a few I bought that are too pretty to box up, so they'll remain as decor this year. It's a bright sunny day here in the San Francisco bay area today, so it feels like a great start to a new year. Wishing you the best for 2013!