7.30.2011

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Wow.  Have you ever woken up on Saturday only to wonder where the week went?  And simultaneously feel like the past 7 days were more like 700 days?  It was the longest week that went by quickly, ever. 

For those of you who were praying for my friend Kim, THANK YOU!  She finally received an accurate diagnosis:  Lyme disease.  Praise God, the antibiotics started kicking in, and she is on the mend! 

Now, on to this week's hunt.  You'll have to forgive my use of a few archived pictures.  See above statement about longest week ever for reference.

1.  Walking Empty Streets
This is my best friend's daughter, Gracie, who coincidentally is Wyatt's best friend.  I went over to do their family photo shoot, but before we did all four of them together, I took each of the girls out separately for individual shoots.  I love the mood of this shot.  Their farm is so beautiful...I loved ALL of the pictures I got that day!

2.  Repeating Pattern
This was a plasma-cut bench at NASA in Houston.  I thought it was super cute, and had it not been bolted to the floor, I may have tried to sneak it out under my skirt for Pooky's room.

3.  Floor
Meet Carter, my newest neighbor.  He arrived a few weeks after his parents and brother moved in.  I cannot even tell you how excited I am to have a squishy baby boy to cuddle right next door!  For his photo shoot, we laid him on the floor in the light pouring in from his bedroom window.

4.  Then and Now
At the beginning of June, we found a box turtle hatchling.  Since the dog didn't exactly work out for us, I figured a turtle as a pet would better suit the boy.  I was right, although technically, he's my pet since I'm the one taking care of him.  And I love him more.  Can you believe how big he's gotten in just a little over a month?  I'm using this photo for my Project 64 this week...his shell in the bottom picture hints at Raw Sienna.

5. Fingertips
Another one of Carter...his teeny little paw.  Oh cripes, it almost makes me want another baby.  Almost.








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7.24.2011

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I don't know if it is my new-found confidence in Photoshop, or if it's just that I'm starting to acclimate to the heat, but I had some major creative energy this week!  Most of it has been spent making jewelry, but I did get all artsy-fartsy with some photography, too.

If you'd like to see (and yes, you may also critique) my first real creative edit in Photoshop, click right here.  My good friend Kim, whose daughter is in the photograph, could use your prayers right now...she's been really weak and has been experiencing odd symptoms lately.  The docs are trying to figure out what's going on, and in the meantime, she's on light duty.  Lift her up if you have a minute!

On to the hunt: 

1.  Music to my Ears
This, my friends, is my hard-working A/C unit.  In these miserably hot months, the constant drone of the fan has definitely been music to my ears!

2.  Hat
Just when you think they can't get much cuter...
I can often be seen wearing one, or both, of two things:  a skirt and a hat.  On this day, while sitting under our favorite shade tree at the pond, Wyatt decided to model my hat for the camera.  Love him. 

3.  Clear
I received a package of exquisite stones for a client's jewelry order this week.  These quartz teardrops are so dreamy...they're as clear as glass with no inclusions, which is kind of rare for quartz.  A few months ago, I broke my wedding ring, so my finger has been nekked except for a teeny little silver braided ring I've been wearing until I can get my ring fixed.   Don't worry Hubby...I'm not getting any crazy ideas...but a girl can pretend, right?

4.  Out of this World
This is a cicada.  A dead one.  Aren't they so alien-looking?  Thanks to Wyatt, I have had the pleasure of closely examining many of God's more unique creations. 

5.  Sprinkles
The OCD person that I am, this photo kind of stresses me out, but not as much as actually taking the picture did.  I have this great idea for Wyatt's 5th birthday invitations (which is 5 months away, you should know):  dip his hand in non-pareils, covering it, and have him hold up his five fingers.  This was sort of a practice run, which went terribly wrong as you can tell.  First of all, I only had Christmas sprinkles, and only enough for one try.  Second, I should've wiped the water off of his hand.  Oh well, I have half a year to get it right.



7.23.2011

Paper Mama: Summertime

We've had some serious heat here in Oklahoma this summer.  I believe we're at 18 days of 100+ temperatures, with heat indexes hovering somewhere around 110 degrees.  Phew.  It's steamy.

Much of our time has been spent indoors as a result, or at the local splash pad.  This picture is of my sweet Wyatt, sweat running down his forehead and speckling his nose, on one of our short walks this summer.  Hard as I try, I cannot keep this boy inside for long.  To him, summertime means bullfrogs, dragonflies, snakes, flowers, and the like.  See his determined face?  I think he had spotted something he wanted to catch.  That's my boy!





The Paper Mama

7.22.2011

Momma in Focus

The boy and I enjoyed a leisurely day at home yesterday.  While scouting the pond for bullfrogs and other creepy crawlies, we found a plethora of heart-shaped leaves.  We thought they were pretty cute!

I know the prompt for the week was fruit, but Miss Casey is pretty laid back over there at One Day at a Time, so I'm not too worried about it.  Besides, Wyatt and I are a couple of fruits, so that ought to do!



LEM: Soft & P64: Wisteria

Yesterday was a rarity:  the boy and I stayed home all day with no scheduled playdates or errands to run.  I wish I could say that was intentional, but my hubby's daily driver was on the verge of going kablooey, so he drove my Jeep while his truck was in the shop.  So basically, we were stranded.  In the end, it was a blessing.  We spent the entire day dodging chores and taking short excursions outside. 

I took this one down at the pond, our usual first stop on our nature walks.  We sat under our shade tree watching the birds and dragon flies for awhile, and a soft breeze started to blow.  My dress started flipping around my ankles, and this exact image flashed into mind.  Not seconds later, I was using my hat and the camera strap as an impromptu tripod and setting the timer!  It just so happens that the purple elements of the pattern in my dress are an exact match to my little swatch of Wisteria, too (although in the photo it appears a little darker, hmmm...)

Self-portraits are becoming a favorite of mine...I especially love the anonymous ones!

Speaking of anonymous:  if you'd like to leave a comment but blogger won't let you sign in to do so, I've set up my comment settings so that you can leave one anonymously.  Just be sure to sign your comment so I know who to send love back to!





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7.21.2011

My First Creative Edit

For my 30th birthday last October, I bought myself a Canon Rebel.  I had no idea how to use it, as I was completely ignorant about DSLR cameras, but I just kept pushing buttons and adjusting settings until I figured out what did what.  Then I read the manual, which helped significantly.  Then I took a class at a local hobby shop that opened my eyes even more to my new gadget.
After a couple of months, I was comfortable outside of auto mode, and I started getting really wonderful SOOC shots.  I joined a few photo blogs that have broadened my knowledge of the art as well, not to mention that they've gotten me far out of my comfort zone.  I have learned SO MUCH, and I have the girls at Project 64: Outside the Box, Ashley over at Ramblings and Photographs, Tara from Live Every Moment, sweet Casey with One Day at a Time, Audrey Sue at The Daily Wyatt, and last but not least, Chelsey of The Paper Mama to thank for it!  Many other bloggers have taught me great things here or there, but these are the girls I cannot go a day without checking in on!  Kisses and Hugs to you all.
For Christmas, I bought myself Photoshop Elements 9 thinking, "how hard could it be?"  I'm really the type that just clicks stuff to see what happens, so I didn't think it would be too complicated.  Well, I was wrong.  Dead wrong.  I was so overwhelmed and intimidated that I had all but given up on creative editing.  Then one day, one of the most wonderful women in the world, Kendall Johns, became my hero by coming over to the house to give me a one-on-one tutorial.  She also brought along with her some fabulous actions, plus helped me to download countless more!  It's crazy how simple she made it all look, and now I am gaining real confidence with my edits!  Enough so that I want to share this one with the world! 

I took this photo several months ago.  This is Kaelyn, the twin daughter of my dear friend Kim over at My Kids are Freaks.  It has been nagging at me to edit it since I uploaded it onto my harddrive, but alas, I had no clue where to begin.  Today, I took a stab at it, and I love the result!  Please go easy on me...remember, this is my very first attempt at a creative edit with Photoshop!


SOOC

FINAL EDIT

Here's what I did (that I can remember!):
Cropped
Removed Kim's body and Kaelyn's hand from photo with clone stamp (sorry Kim, your tush had to go!)
Cleaned up her face using clone stamp, healing brush, and Paint the Moon's Baby Soft Skin
Added Pioneer Woman's Sunshine and played with opacity
Added Paint the Moon's The Works
Added Pioneer Woman's Lovely and Ethereal
Added PW's Edge Burn and played with opacity

7.17.2011

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Two weeks off from the world really caught up with me this week.  Seems like people missed me!  I spent a lot of time catching up with friends this week, I took my Pooh Bear bowling, and I started prepping my, gulp, huge stash of Just Between Friends stuff.  I also had the pleasure of photographing two gorgeous babies this week:  my newest neighbor, 3-week-old Carter, and my good friend Kelli's 3-month-old daughter, Karli!  I haven't edited Carter's shoot yet, but I'll share one of Karli's below as a hunt item!

1.  Black and White
  Okay, I hope I'm not the only girl who really loves old cars in the blog world...
A local classic car lot always has gorgeous oldies, and on the way home from bowling the other day, the boy and I stopped to oogle.  This Dodge Coronet was by far my favorite, followed closely by a Ford Fairlane and an Impala.

2.  Refections in Glass
Okay, so this isn't glass.  The photo I had planned to take was a reflection off of our windows of Wyatt playing in our backyard, but our back yard is currently a big expanse of dirt because we're reseeding it...not so pretty.  I loved this rear-view mirrow...this is the back of it...and I thought I'd be forgiven if I cheated and used chrome rather than glass.

3.  Headlights
These headlights were on a Cadillac Fleetwood.  Amazing car in pristine condition.  Does anyone else see a robot face here?

4.  Seeing Double
Before you freak out, I am not a hoarder.  This is the gigantic pile of kids and baby clothes that I am preparing to sell in the Just Between Friends sale in about a month.  The reason this qualifies for the "seeing double" prompt:  this is double the amount of clothing I've ever had.  I'm really stressed out about it.  My mom and I shop garage sales and clearance racks at retailers, then we flip the stuff at JBF for a profit.  It's always worth the effort...but man, this is a lot of clothes.  Not to mention the shoes, toys, games, baby gear, etc that is also looming over my head.  Pray for me.

5.  Bare
These are Miss Karli's bare little piggies.  She wins the award for "most cooperative baby ever."  She was a perfect angel! 



7.15.2011

Momma in Focus & P64

On his 3rd birthday, I took Wyatt bowling for the first time ever.  At the time, he had one of those plastic bowling sets that he loved, and I thought he'd love the real thing.  Well, that's what I get for thinking...he hated it.  He rolled the ball down the lane once, then refused to cooperate for the remaining 9 frames. 

Fast forward a year and a half later:  yesterday my MOPS group took the kids to the same bowling alley, only this time, the story had a happy ending!  Wyatt had a great time, and subsuquently, so did I!

Here we are, right before knocking down some pins!  The Momma in Focus theme for the week was orange...the kid balls were all orange.  You can call it coincidence, I'll call it providence.
(yes, a skirt is a totally reasonable wardrobe choice for bowling...does anyone notice that I wear a lot of skirts?)


Is there anything funnier?  I don't know why, but this makes me laugh every time I see it!
Granny Bowl!

He was actually a lot better than I thought he'd be.  I think his total score was a 62.  Kind of impressive for his first time (I know he had bumpers, but still).

My kid is silly.  He was playing around in that little fan at the end of the ball return.  Come to think of it, we've had two weeks of over 100 degree temperatures with no relief in sight...maybe he's not so silly.

And this one will be my entry for Project 64 this week.  The color was Macaroni and Cheese.  I actually found about a million things in the exact color all week, but I just have not had much creative energy to take fun pictures.  I saw this macaroni orange ball and it was a now-or-never kind of moment.



One Day At A Time




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7.12.2011

Blogger Frustration!

Could someone please tell me what I need to do so that I can comment on everyone's blogs again?  For reasons unknown to me, blogger only allows me to comment on about half of the blogs I follow, and for a few, it will only let me do so "anonymously."  It is just about enough to make me angry.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

7.09.2011

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

This week is one of those that I wish would never end.  It's been filled with rest and relaxation.  No set schedule, no concrete plans...just lots of family time and tons of fun.  Plus, I'm figuring out a few new things on my camera.  All of these (including the archived one) are SOOC!  I'm pretty pumped about that!


1.  Things That Look Like a Letter of the Alphabet
The handle of this glass vase in my kitchen window makes a "B."  I have a major weakness for colored glass bottles and vases.  When we moved into this house four years ago, I sold about 200 of them in my moving sale.  I'm slowly starting to accumulate them again, and I'm running out of window sills...what to do?

2.  Weather
Does anyone remember this?  This was 5 months ago!  Oklahoma was pummeled by a record blizzard at the beginning of February.  Wyatt is playing in TWO FEET of snow in this photo...that all fell within 24 hours.  It was well over 100 degrees today.  Insanity.

3.  Bling
This was the first year that fireworks in general didn't terrify Pooky Bear.  In fact, the kid wanted to play with sparklers and the snappers!  Such fun!  I know that the word "bling" typically refers to jewelry, but seriously, look at that sparkle! 

4.  Tangled
Admittedly, this tangled swath of twigs doesn't look like much at first glance, but it is pretty special.  The other day, while sitting beneath a dogwood tree at the edge of the pond while Wyatt chucked rocks into the water, I noticed a bird continually landing near this pile of sticks, each time with a giant, juicy bug in her beak.  She'd hop down in the water lilies, just below my line of sight, before rocketing off again in search of another insect.  This went on for about an hour.  Today, while making our daily journey around the pond, I decided to see if my hunch was right:  there must be a baby bird in that mess.
Sure enough.  Man, I'm good.

5.  Dark
I've been experimenting in full manual mode this week with my camera.  I have always shot in Av or Tv, but I've been frustrated with M because I always over- or under-expose every shot, especially in low-light situations.  Well, I did some homework, and I figured it out.  Thank goodness for the internet.  I know this isn't a perfect shot, and there's significant blur in the background, but this photo represents a lot to me:  I'm learning!  These are Jason and Wyatt's favorite fireworks:  Saturn Missiles. 


Paper Mama Photo Challenge: Sweet

This Fourth of July, Wyatt really came out of his shell and actually enjoyed fireworks for the first time.  He thoroughly enjoyed chucking snappers onto the concrete, and even begged to play with sparklers!  Gives a whole new meaning to Indenpendence Day...he's growing up before my very eyes!

This week over at Paper Mama, the theme is Sweet.  When I hopped over to see who won for last week, I was delighted to see that my photo for Sparkle was one of Chelsey's favorites!  What an honor!  If you want to see the top 3 winners and her other favorites, click here...so many great captures!


Here's my Wyatt, totally excited about the snapper he was about to toss at my feet. 

And here he is inspecting the confetti that shot out of the little champagne popper.  I just think Wyatt is so cool because he finds such simple things to be so interesting and valuable.  He is still carrying around this wad of paper, pretending it is anything from a jellyfish to a wig.

And he surprised me the most with the sparklers.  Last year, I almost gave him a coronary by even suggesting that he hold one.  Geez, he really isn't a baby anymore, is he?  But he's still my sweet little boy.


The Paper Mama

7.07.2011

Project 64: Sea Green & Momma In Focus

This week has been fabulous.  Jason is still home from work, so it's kind of been our "vacation from our vacation" of last week.  We've watched a lot of tv, played board games, driven our R/C cars, shot off fireworks, stayed up way too late, gone to the lake....you name it.  Stuff we don't usually have time to do.

When I saw the color of the week over at Project 64: Outside of the Box is Sea Green, I was pumped.  I love blues and greens!  I've been searching all over for the perfect thing...and one of Wyatt's marbles caught my eye while we were building a marble run today.  We ran outside, grabbed some sea green sidewalk chalk, created a circle, and played a good ol' fashioned game of marbles.  It's about time we use these things for something other than a land mine to step on at 3am.

I'm also going to use this for my Momma In Focus this week over at One Day at a Time.  The theme this week is Patriotic...and this may be a stretch, but marbles is an American pastime, right?  At the very least, we're celebrating our freedom to have way too much fun doing next to nothing...and we're proud of it!  Yay, America! 






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One Day At A Time

LEM Photo Challenge: Sunset

Oh, how I love sunset pictures!  I love the colors that God displays across the sky when he puts the sun to rest for the day.  I love the warm glow that fills the air and washes over our skin.  I love the blessed drop in temperature on a muggy summer day.  I am very much looking forward to hopping over to Live Every Moment to see everyone else's link-ups for the week! 


I stepped outside of my box for my own sunset photo...and I'm so glad I did!  I took it while walking around with my son and my niece on Sunday evening...we were waiting for the sun to set so that we could start playing with fireworks.  While the two of them searched the ground for acorns and fossils in the gravel, my eye was skyward.