Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Izzy!

His name is Ismail his nickname is Izzy. He's my 6'4" "baby." Today's his 17th birthday. Here he is with his neice Isabella.
He loves chocolate so chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate filling (a bit to rich for me).

and finally this picture has 2 purposes. #1 why I hate using my off camera flash - see it? the light reflects off of her eyes like pins. No big catch lights there.
What I do like is the clarity from my 50mm 1.4 lens and that you can almost see my whole living room in her eyes!
The other? A 2 year old who hasn't slept in almost 17 hours! What happened to naps at that age? She would not take a nap.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mexican Water

. . . at least that's what they told us at the resort.

Another practice at still life photography.
No, I'm not drinking that I'm sick, even if I wasn't sick I'd only drink that in a Margarita.

Used a flash Light and my 50mm lens.

Life is a grindstone. Whether it grinds us down or polishes us up depends on us. -- Thomas L. Holdcroft

Monday, December 29, 2008

Still Life

My brother in law gave me an old book call Gold Book Photography - A selective resource of Talent.

I cannot find what year it was publised but judging from the styles I'd say the 1970s
So in there I found a section called still life and Photographer Dan Wilby from NYC has several still life photos including a glass of water with weird lighting and shadow. The book does not give any indication of equipment, software or special effects so all I have is just picture.

I decided to try my hand at a still life. I then changed the tint in the color several times. Here is my version of a glass of water, lit up only by a flashlight.

They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they'd make up their minds.” Winston Churchil

Sunday, December 28, 2008

It's what I . . . did?

Art washes away the dust off everyday life . . .
For at least the past 8 years I've scrap-booked. Almost everyday. Every single day I did something in my scrap area. I've collected more paper than I will ever need. I have buttons, embelishments, inks, chalks, markers and die cut machines. I've been doing this for a long time. In July I had to make some changes and my total focus became photography. For the past five months I have read, practiced asked questions, tried different techniques, read some more and practiced some more. I watched, I observed the pros. I'm learning, constantly learning.

I've been sick for a couple of weeks and decided I would stay in this weekend. So I had a little bit of energy and started cleaning my "scrap" room. So while I'm there why don't I just put a page together for Isabella's album - right? OMG!!! did I forget how to scrapbook? No way. I don't think so, but all I could do was shuffle paper and embelishments around. So there it is, pictures, paper and embelishments. Not complete, not even started, but hey, I took a picture of it!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Russian Tea

I've had a bad cold for about 3 weeks now off and on. I've never had a cold this long . . . of coarse I haven't made it to the doctors office yet either....

So Jenn on One Photo Source gave me a recipe for something called Russian Tea.
It's smells like potpourri when you start making it then you add some juices and it just smells like citrus. Yummy. It reminds me of comfort food right now.

Thanks Jenn

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays to all 56 & 57 of 365

The pictures were taken last night and today.

Yes she is a 2 y.o. diva. What can I say? Her fascination with shoes and make up is beyond her years. (clears throat) so I bought her a Libby Lou make up case jam packed with all sorts of make up necessities.

Her Christmas dress with matching shoes - (the other set of grandparents get credit for the dress and her mom for the shoes) When she saw her pink shoes she says "Oh wow, how pretty shoes!"

Well, at least she's still easy to please - LOL

Had a great 2 days - seasons blessings to all. I'm gonna vegg out by the fireplace and watch a movie.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008


“O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?” PERCY SHELLY

It's been really cold. Today it was 10 below zero most of the day. My poor dogs are having a hard time. They can only go outside for 1 to 2 minutes at the most. Then one of us has to go rescue them because they cannot walk anymore.

On the positive note, while the plants and trees are asleep, the ice makes a beautiful scenery.

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” Ann Bradstreet

My child . . .

A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart. ~Author Unknown

How could it be that my "baby" my first born is 27! Yeah she is here she is with her baby. We had a family dinner for her. It was nice having everyone over (well almost everyone). Had lots of food and cake and ice cream of coarse.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My Garden today

I thought it only took 21 days to create a habit? It's been 52 days forme and I fell off of the wagon. So do I start with day #1 again or just pick up where I left off?
well . . . my post for today is some Macro shots in my garden.

An ice storm.
Here's what my garden looks like today:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's cold out here. 51 of 365

Just a quick look out of my window. It's really cold. My outdoor thermometer says 0 degrees F. I say at least 5 below. It hurts to go outside right now. We've had about a week of it and now they (weather reporters) say it's supposed to snow a lot tomorrow. I don't mind a little snow but this cold is getting to be to much for me - LOL
51 of 365

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cream of Coconut Cake

Tomorrow is my oldest daughters birthday and this is the cake she wanted. So I made it and we enjoyed it a day early. If you like pineapple and coconuts - this cake is delicious!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Things that made me happy today . . .

The sun shinning on my face despite the 10 degree temperature
A home cooked dinner (thanks hon!)
and my play date with Isabella.
That's me with Isabella

49 of 365

Friday, December 12, 2008

My life line . . . .

"A goal without a plan is just a wish.
Larry Elder

48 out of 365

It keeps me organized, on time, focused. I miss placed it for a week and I was lost. I guess it's also like my security blanket. I don't rely on memory for much - especially when it comes to dates and times.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

47 of 365

I'm tired and I need some zzzz's but they somehow seem to elude me! Sigh
After working all day and then cooking I had a photo shoot. This family wanted a few Christmas Photos. When I say "a few" I mean a few.
Their puppy was so cute I could have played with her (Lola) all night.

CC is welcomed. Thanks

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Am I running out of willing models?

#46 out of 365 (it's way to early to run out of willing models!)

Lens challenge 7 out of 7. I passed that test and learned a lot along the way.
I noticed that yesterdays pictures looks like the colors are a bit off. They looked fine until I re sized it.
I've been editing pictures for 10 hours I THINK. I'm tired. There has got to be an easier way. Can you guys share what your secrets are?
I know that wedding photographers cannot sit and edit every single picture - what the secret. I'm trying lightroom on a 30 trial but it doesn't seem like much help to me. Please do share.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Practice, practice, practice . . . .

"Now to consult the rules of composition before making a picture is a little like consulting the law of gravitation before going for a walk. Such rules and laws are deduced from the accomplished fact; they are the products of reflection ." Edward Weston

45 out of 365 days and counting!
Lens challenge #6 out of #7.
It's my hubby - well he was the only one home besides the dogs - LOL I need the practice so whoever is around will be tested on in the "studio." I'm still having issues with my light meter and my lights but I continue practicing. His head was skimmed off by the frame I added.
Please CC

Monday, December 8, 2008

Happy Anniversary to my friends

"Photography for me is not looking, it's feeling. If you can't feel what you're looking at, then you're never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures" Don McCullin

44 out of 365 and Lens Challenge #5 our of #7 (50 mm,f2.8,SS800)
It's really cold out here. I did 2 out door photo shoots today. These are my Friends Jennifer and Mo. It's their 10th Anniversary! This is one of my favorite shots. I still have to go through them all and edit but I wanted to post this one for today's entry.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My Studio in the works & Lens challenge #4

Post 43 out of 365
"A mad, keen photographer needs to get out into the world and work and make mistakes." Sam Abell

This is my new studio. It's still a work in progress. I've moved the lights around several times. This set up was suggested by Pam Lopez.
I'm having serious metering and lighting issues. Just ask Eric - I told him I was ready to throw everything out the window! Feel free to offer suggestions or CC
P.S. with no true wide angle this was the best I can do.

And these are just some of my ornaments using my 50 mm lens 1.4 for my lens challenge.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas in the Studio - the lens challenge

There are several things going on here.
First of all this is post 42 of 365
Second this is #3 of the 50mm 1.4 lens challenge. Four more to go.
Third - my friend is coming over to the "studio" and she wants some Christmas pictures taken. Well I thought I'd better get my tree up so that's what my mom and I did tonight.
Forth of all this is my oldest daughter (Isabella's mom) and she happened to be the only "child" here tonight so it was her turn to get infront of the camera.
and fifth - no I did not have my studio lights on. I only used my SB800 flash.

besides the lights - do you think the tree works for the background?
this time aperature was 1.4, ss500 and guess what? ISO 1250 yes I forgot it again!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Isabella - the challenge

Remember my challenge of 2 days ago? Well here is #2 out of seven.
It's ironic that Isabella is followed by the challenge. This little one has taught me how difficult it will be doing portraits of toddlers. Here she's looking right at the lens - I had to bribe her with some "more candy." I know it's not technically correct but hey, she's looking right at the lens!

Well the 50mm, 1.4 is considered a portraiture lens correct? Obviously I had to use a flash, my SB800.
My own eyes are no more than scouts on a preliminary search, for the camera's eye may entirely change my idea.
-Edward Weston

NutCracker Ballet

We took Isabella to the Nutcracker Ballet. This is her second time attending. She lasted longer this year than she had last year. We are making progress. My daughter and MIL also attended. I, personally, thought it was beautiful. These pictures were taken at a distance with ISO of 1250.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The arrow - the challenge

"When you shoot an arrow of truth, dip it's point in honey"
Arab Proverb

Dave reminded me today that I actually own a 50mm, 1.4 and that I don't use it too often. Then he proceeds to tell me that he bought if for me because it's what he learned with (film). He says that, that particular lens "sees" mostly like the human eye and he thought that it would help train my eye as far as composing an image in the camera, without having to crop later. Isn't he sweet?
So I took it as a challenge - for the next week (except for Wednesday) I will be taking pictures with my 50mm 1.4 - with no cropping done to image.

Here's my first: Dave's arrows, they are laying on top of his Compound Bow - which he has had since High School. It's made of beautiful wood - but the wood has finally given in and it has cracked along the natural grain of the wood.

What do you think?
Now I have to figure out how to get that Nikon 70 - 200, 2.8. Now that's a sweet lens.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Dance, Dance, Dance . . .

There is a bit of insanity in dancing that does everybody a great deal of good.
~Edwin Denby

After a long Monday work day David and I went to our very first formal dance lesson. Jan and Alex, my In Laws, gave us a gift certificate last year for these lessons. We finally decided to go.
It was so much fun! David enjoyed it too. Our first lesson consisted of a few moves from the Hustle, Fox Trot, Waltz and the Samba. these are the shoes we wore to class because you are supposed to be able to "slide" across the dance floor. We have several other lessons already booked.

Mom and Dad, thank you so much for your thoughtfulness. Your gifts are always to thoughtful and caring. We really appreciate it.

P.S. Hanging on my shoe is my new favorite everyday jewelry and also in the photo is the dance studios business card. How bad am I, when I was there I was looking around thinking - "this would make an awesome photography studio. Nice floors, nice window." LOL

Just for fun: Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels. ~Faith Whittlesey

Melancholy . . .

"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another."
~Anatole France

Change is part of life, it just is. Am I feeling melancholy because of the gloomy weather, because my children are no longer home, because the burdens of my children become my burdens, because as I try to move forward it seems like an up hill battle?
I had 2 photo shoots scheduled for today and I arranged my plans based on those two shoots today. They both cancelled and I sat here with a heated studio (heated for the shoots) and lights and backdrops ready to go. Bummer.
So I went outside with my camera and played in the rain/snow. Now I'll go play with Light room. See, there is a ray of sunshine behind the clouds - LOL.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dreams really do come true . . .

Today I got to play with a real live Princess. We played "bubbles" under the table which was covered with pink plastic table clothes. We ate candy sprinkles and made foam animals. We played and played until my heals could no longer keep up.

Then we energized with this fantastic cake! You didn't have to just settle for one flavor it was strawberry on one side, white on one side, chocolate on another and banana was there too.

and my hope for you is that your life will be this perfect always. I love you sweetie and thanks for being my play mate for awhile.

Friday, November 28, 2008

That's me . . .

tired and all. This is the best I have to offer today. I've been editing pictures all day - there has to be an easier way!


Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow. ~Edward Sandford Martin

At my In-Laws home for a festivities that tantilize the pallete and a day to get together with family and enjoy.
So, so much to be grateful for . . .

Thursday, November 27, 2008


It's like 19 degrees F. out here and as I'm walking in this evening I notice this garden fairy that didn't get put away for the winter. She has a light shining right above her head and although she's not the prettiest thing she looks magical in the cold and dark evening. So I run in get my camera and spend the next 15 minutes outside taking night photography.

Then I come in to find this . . . . .

LAZY DOGS! Don't they know they have fur to keep them warm? Seriously - how would they survive in the wild?
Don't worry girls no need to get up it's just ME! The nerve of these pampered pooches. Well they gave me something to write about.

For those of you who celebrate . . .Happy Thanksgiving. For those of you who don't . . .Have a great day while we Americans have a holiday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dried flower

"A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them. "
Liberty Hyde Bailey

My family has always told me I have a "green thumb" what ever that means. I plant seeds, they grow. I plant flowers, they grow. House plants are no exception. I mean you just have to remember to water them - but not too much. Thin them out, give them food and some sunshine. There you have it. It's the reason that every fall I'm left with the problem of what to do with so many house plants because they have multiplied over the summer. I have several house plants that very few people have seen bloom. Here is a picture of a dried "flower" Not sure what it's called, but I was cleaning them out today and there it was. Thought I'd take a picture before I threw it away.
Now I'm looking for homes for half of my house plants - cause as much and I love plants and flowers I hate clutter and they are starting to clutter my windows and floor. Sadly, they have to go.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pumpkin pies

Dave makes the best pumpkin pie ever. Here he has started "gathering" the ingredients. He will spend alot of time on Wednesday preparing and baking pies to take to his moms house for thanksgiving dinner - Yummy!

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice. ~Meister Eckhart

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's cold out there

DH is missing the camping season already! So if he wants to be outside hanging out . . this is the only way to do it. Controlled fire pit. It's sitting in the driveway and he's staying warm by it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

After a super long/rough week . . . 29/365

I end it like this . . .


Smash cake and new studio

Mr. S.M.W is turning 1! Hard to believe it. He's so dang cute. We had so much fun letting him play with his cake. Thanks Jenn & Todd.


Still messing around trying to get the studio together for my photo shoot tomorrow. Too much to do - too little time.
Picture taken with my doe skin backdrop (Joann's) and only the lights on my Charlie Brown Christmas Trees.

Hoping to have better pictures to post tomorrow. Off to catch some "zzzz's."

Thursday, November 20, 2008


"The best thing about dreams is that fleeting moment, when you are between asleep and awake, when you don't know the difference between reality and fantasy, when for just that one moment you feel with your entire soul that the dream is reality, and it really happened.” Author unknown

My week thus far has been a whirlwind of activity. Work and work some more. I've been getting home pretty late and can barely catch up on house chores much less getting creative with my 365.
Today I get home and my hubby surprised me with this . . . .

What is it? It's my former 3 Season room. Lots and lots of windows very hot in the summer very cold in the winter(luckily it does have a heater). Surrounded by lots and lots of trees. I/we have always loved this room.

We have talked about it for awhile and we both agreed that it would be a perfect starter studio for me. So my dear hubby pulled out all of the furniture and other "stuff" that has occupied this room for many years and he tore down the counter top that took up about 4 feet of space and he started putting up the chocolate brown, black out curtains. It will "only" take 20 panels to cover all of the windows. The room measures 12X20. By tomorrow I should have the basic set up all done, including backdrops. He says he has another surprise for me but I'll have to wait until tomorrow to see what it is. Oh the suspense!

So there my "dream" is a step closer. Not exactly the best picture but there is a peek into my life this week.
Maybe next week we can catch up on what has been going on. Miss you all.


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