Thursday, February 18, 2010


For Valentine's Day Morgan gave me roses. Actually, a couple days before. But it counts. I didn't ask how much he paid. Hopefully not a lot. I hate that "hey, let's mark flowers up for V-day" thing. It's wrong. But the flowers are beautiful and have lasted quite nicely. After yesterdays short lived photo shoot I decided to practice on the flowers. Which have nothing in common with the moving subject I try to practice with! (If you click on the images you can view them bigger. Which is even better!)

This last shot was a happy accident. I had my exposure set wrong for my aperture and got this really over exposed shot but I liked how it turned out anyway.

Red roses are a tricky flower for me to photograph. Red is not a color that my camera easily reproduces. It generally turns out too orange. I end up tweaking the colors in PSE to get them right. Which is something I struggle with. Not the task of fixing but having to do it. I want all my work to be good straight out of the camera. But I think in reality that's not going to happen. Camera sensors aren't as sensitive as the human eye and lighting is rarely perfect. So the chances of things being the way I actually see them is not always high. So thank goodness for Photoshop!

As some of you know I dabble in other arts and crafts. Scrapbooking, knitting, collage art, sewing, jewelry making and have in my life painted, potted and blown glass. I like to use my hands to make stuff!!! But it wasn't until photography that I found my artistic voice. I was talking about this with a friend not too long ago and started thinking more about it. I've always loved photography but didn't really explore it as an art form until we got a digital camera. ***(below thought goes here)***And the main reason is I didn't want to invest so much money in trial and error and the learning curve. Film and the dark room. Rarely do I do things (arts and crafts wise) on a small scale. I didn't have the time or the access to take photography classes in college so it was just not something I ever pursued. Which is the beauty of digital photography. It is so much more accessible now. Which some people find positive and others find appalling. When I start something I like to learn all about it and while the learning curve has been at times frustrating and confusing it has also been very accessible. There are tons of books to learn from, great websites, many of which are filled with lots of knowledgeable people who are willing to answer questions, provide critique and technical support when necessary. Everything I've learned about photography I've learned from practice, trial and error and exploration. It is counter to how I would prefer to do things (I'd rather go back to school in the comfort of a classroom with a trained professional!) but it has forced me to be resourceful and creative and I've gained so much more because of that.

***EDITED*** (To include the part I was really going to write about before I started rambling!)
So my artistic voice. Oh yeah, that, which is what I was going to write about before I got distracted by my own rambling. (And now I'm distracted by how loud the keyboard is at 12:45am!) In any art that I have explored/pursued I strove for perfection. Art+perfectionism=not good. I could never quite get whatever I was creating to look like what I saw in my mind's eye. And I couldn't accept the end product. In high school I used to paint but I stopped because I just couldn't get it right and I would mess with a painting until it was indeed an actual mess. (Which some would consider art). But photography is different. I can photograph what I "see". And I LOVE that. Really love it. And if I don't get what I see in the image I do it again. And again. And sometimes 200 agains. And I am not wasting film or chemicals or paper or even digital space. And after I photograph what I see, I can play with it in Photoshop and make it something else. Or add some text. Or crop it or blow it up. Photography is creating art as perfectly as I can. And because I have that outlet for my perfectionism I can accept less than perfect in my other arts and crafts. Although, the flaw in one of the wash clothes I knitted still bothers me when I take a bath. Seriously people, I have issues!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


As a photographer I am continually trying to hone my skills. But to do that I need subjects. And it's not always easy to find willing ones. I tried to recruit, okay bribe, Owen to help me out today. But as you can see he wasn't that willing.

And while the picture isn't bad, technically it's a good picture, I know it's not HIS best work! He was a very unwilling subject despite my promises of candy. And I am not as patient with him as I am with other people's children. For example, I would not say to a client's child, "just look out the window and hold still!" And I wouldn't allow a clients child to play with their Buzz doll the entire time either. Or yell, "MAMA!!! I'm just trying to pew here!!" We don't work well together.

So I resorted to subjects that are a lot easier to control. Thank you Woody and Buzz you were great! I will get you some really nice candy the next time I'm at the store!! Just don't give any to that uncooperative child you play with.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Frosty morning...

Saturday we woke to beautiful sparkly snow that only happens a few times in the winter. The trees and bushes and fences were all covered with it. Owen and I traipsed around the yard for almost an hour taking pictures. Here are a few of the images I captured.
I am a little bit obsessed with snowflakes. Images of them anyway. I love the work of Wilson Bentley. Although I'm not as obsessed as he was. And I like to capture them in a natural environment rather than individual flakes.

After I was done taking pictures of the snow he let me chase him around and take pictures of him. He usually holds still for about 2 and then it's a crap shoot as to whether I'll get anymore. Although it's blurry, the last one was my favorite.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Bathroom art...

Recently we repainted the bathroom. Here is a picture of it, sans decor.
You can't really tell in the picture but the paint color is not white. It's called rose dust. It has a subtle pink tint to it. White was just to stark next to the beautiful pink tiles. (Yes, that's sarcasm you detect). The wall with the mirror (where it's lower and indented) and the ceiling of the shower used to be a burgundy like the accent tiles. The rest of the walls were white with flowers painted on them. At first I liked the flowers. There was a bathmat that matched them. But I bleached the bathmat and the flowers did fare so well. And then it just got old. We had intended to remodel it completely this previous spring/summer but because we lost so much value in our house we couldn't take the money out to do it. We decided to make due with paint.

Now on to the redecorating. I found the hearts shower curtain at Target for a good price, and while it's not what I was originally intending it brought a little more brightness into the room (especially in January). Now I'm working on art for the walls. Really just one wall. The space above the toilet. I bought 5 Ribba frames at Ikea last week and am working on things to fill them with. I have paper taped to the wall so I can get an idea of how I want them arranged. I have three 6" square frames and two 9" square ones. So far I have one little piece finished.

Here it is. I cut out progressively smaller flowers with my cricut using glamma vellum paper.
Then I stacked them up, adhering them to each other with a pop dot. And then I added a little bling in the middle.

Now only 4 more frames to fill!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Love songs...

What is your favorite? This was the subject of a post on Cathy Z's blog the other day. And incidentally she and I have the same favorite. And since it's Valentine's Day soon, I thought I'd share it with you.

And the lyrics to the song.

I don't get many things right the first time
In fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls
Brought me here

And where was I before the day
That I first saw your lovely face?
Now I see it everyday
And I know

That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest

What if I'd been born fifty years before you
In a house on a street where you lived?
Maybe I'd be outside as you passed on your bike
Would I know?

And in a white sea of eyes
I see one pair that I recognize
And I know

That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest

I love you more than I have ever found a way to say to you

Next door there's an old man who lived to his nineties
And one day passed away in his sleep
And his wife; she stayed for a couple of days
And passed away

I'm sorry, I know that's a strange way to tell you that I know we belong
That I know

That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest

I wasn't a Ben Folds fan until after I met Morgan. He has quite a varied taste in music and it includes Ben Folds. I love this song because it's simple and beautiful. Both in the lyrics and the musical composition. If you aren't familiar with his music I would highly recommend checking him out. And as I mentioned he did the music for Over the Hedge. Which we watched again today!

One word...

I stole this from Rachel's blog.

Your Cell Phone? Pink
Your Hair? Red
Your Mother? Strong
Your Father? Gone
Your Favorite Food? Sugared
Your Dream Last Night? Weird
Your Favorite Drink? DC
Your Dream/Goal? Artist
What Room Are You In? Study
Your Hobby? Creative
Your Fear? Death
Where Do You See Yourself In 6 Years? Older
Where Were You Last Night? Home
Something That You Aren't? Tall
Muffins? Bran
Wish List Item? Technology
Where Did You Grow Up? Minnesota
Last Thing You Did? Read
What Are You Wearing? Clothes
Your TV? Tube
Your Pets? Dog
Friends? Good
Your Life? Busy
Your Mood? Fine
Missing Someone? Yes
Vehicle? Betty
Something You Aren't Wearing? Earrings
Your Favorite Store? Target
Your Favorite Color? Green
When Was The Last Time You Laughed? Tonight
Last Time You Cried? Friday
Your Best Friend? Morgan
One Place You Go To Over And Over Again? Bathroom
Facebook? Yes
Favorite Place To Eat? Table
Let me know if you play with us!!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Well, maybe when you are 3 1/2 doing something over and over isn't called an obsession. It's just repetition and comfort? And anyone who has or has had small children will understand this. Owen LOVES to watch movies over and over. For awhile he would watch the same one day after day after day. And other times he would mix them up. But one of his most favorites, and the one he's watching right now, is Over the Hedge.

I really couldn't tell you how many times he's seen this movie! It's quite a few. And I don't watch it every time he does but I've seen it a whole lot of times too! And as far as animated movies go, it's one of my favorites. Being a Dreamworks production means it is top notch. But being filled with the music of Ben Folds is a huge help! If you've not seen it, I would highly recommend it. Unless you are easily offended by humor about suburbia. Then don't.