Saturday, January 23, 2010

Helping Haiti

Katie and Randy at Designer Digitals have set up a link for donations from the site. Here is the link if you feel like adding to it, I think it's set up to donate 25 $. They need all the help they can get. There is also a new collaboration kit in the store. All benefits will be donated to the relief fund. I made this page with it

there are some pretty papers in it...just a worthy cause with an added benefit.
Today we took the kids to the Westmoreland Mall, they had a good time looking at some stores we don't have here and we found some good bargains. Phil got himself a couple of new books and I found some sweaters and some candles for  him. He loves candles in his room. I hate this darkness, you come home in the evening and seems to be time for bed, because it's so dark. Some people in the forums are from Australia and they are posting these cool pages with lots of sunshine. Makes one jealous :)
I participated in another one of the new challenges at DD. If you had to make one page about 2009, what would it be about. Well, there was no doubt that for me it had to be about Phil's sickness and here is the page I made about it

I am not crazy about the way the journaling runs around the edge there, I might have to change that, but it was late and I was just glad to have the journaling done. Every time I see that smile, I just want to cry. That was when we first got him into the hospital and he was so miserable and look at him trying to smile for us.
One other page I made was for PixelCanvas

the kit is really cute and my LO is a little tongue in cheek. I still have so many pictures from the visit to the Zoo in 08 and this was one of them. The above page too.
I am still playing with my new 90mm lens. Here are two photos I added to our Flickr group today

nothing spectacular, but the are so tiny, I have fun getting these shots, I had to get rid of some dust particles on the lid, I was not able to see them with the naked eye.
the kids had Friday off again, we had some freezing rain over night and I guess it was quite slippery out there, although it didn't seem that bad to me. I actually enjoy having them home now, they are fun and it's so much less stressful, no rushing and getting them up and out :) They need to learn though, so the weather better shape up soon!
I got my new camera bag yesterday, it red and beautiful and enormous. I took it to the mall today, I looked like I was going on an overnight trip :) Love it though, I must take some pictures tomorrow, I'm too tired today!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My birthday gifts arrived

well, most of them. Phil had told me to get what I wanted and I ordered a Tamron 90mm f/2.8. It came yesterday and really freaked me out. I thought I had a bad lens, because it was really acting strangely. I guess it's because I tried to focus far with it, which threw it for a loop. They really are just for closeup and require a lot of light :) Very crisp shots though. I will have to play with it a little more to get comfortable. Today I received my new tripod, a manfrotto with ballhead and I also ordered an umbrella with a stand for my speedlight. Now if I could just figure out how to use it all, I would be a happy camper :) I can't even get the umbrella stand put together right, let alone figure out how to fire the flash on the stand. Will have to do some reading I guess (boy, I hate that)
Now the last thing is a new bag. It's a Jill, red leather, medium. I can't wait to see it. It will be nice to have a bag large enough to use as a purse and camera bag all in one. Oh yes, I also ordered a remote shutter release, which will come in handy. Best birthday presents ever :)
We started some new challenges at DesignerDigitals, they are all going to be so much fun. the first one I participated in was the AAM challenge. Here is my page

I addressed it to the kids, because that's who it's going to be for..

I got the next two pages for the 365 challenge done. I really like how they turned out

I think I will keep this format, maybe just change the colors? Don't know yet, it all depends on the photos, but I like the large center photo space.
Some more pages

I decided this year to also stick to participating in the DD Flickr POTD group, which means to post a photo a day. It's really fun to have to find something to photograph every day, without the stress of it having to be meaningful for the weekly page, in other words, it can just be art or whatever. It's fun to just practice photography and try to develop an eye for different things, amazing what people come up with,  there is a lot of inspiration in that group.
I just took this shot today, playing around with my new lens :)

and this was at the post office last week

aren't the colors cool? I really liked this one too, the cross lines looked so interesting

and the ice melting made a fun design...

okay, enough of that, you get the picture :)
The kids had Monday and Tuesday off, so that was a nice break. Their math teacher is leaving, going for a different position that pays more. that's the problem with catholic schools, they don't have any money. She will hopefully still tutor them, because she really got Gabi to understand stuff and I'd hate to loose that for her.
Well, the hour is getting late again and hubby is waiting for me. Talk to you soon

Friday, January 15, 2010

check it out....

Look at Katrina's blog (huge smile on my face)!!!! I am featured! I totally forgot that I also won an hour of video chatting with her, holy moly!!!! You should try it, send her an email.... she really has inspired me so much with her incredible photography, maybe some day I'll be a little more like her!!! I am so thrilled about the whole thing, yeah! This year I resolved to submit a photo daily to the Flickr group for DD. It really doesn't take that much time to find one good picture, fix it a little and upload. There is a lot of inspiration there, they give me ideas of what to photograph and how....

anyway, I finally got around to scrapping our Christmas photos. There was this thread on the DD forum about scrapping events and I realized how I dislike scrapping events, it seems so unartistic and yet that is what we do all this for isn't it? So I bit the bullet and scrapped them. Here are the 4 pages

They are supposed to go together (no kidding). I actually wound up having fun doing them, using templates as the base always helps.. I really need to find a way to organize my supplies, I haven't used my old stuff in ages, because I can't remember what I have. Plus every week there is so much new stuff I get to use, I hardly ever get into my stash (not that I am complaining) Fortunately "Finder" is so so helpful on the Mac, it's almost like looking for tagged items, type in and it pops up. Pretty cool when you know what you are looking for :)

Here is a page I did for PixelCanvas yesterday. For the Friday Scraplift

I love that photo of Rachel with her perfume bottle, it came out so well! (with a little help from Lightroom of course)
Well, today is going to be a run around day, hair appointment, eye appointment, piano lessons, yikes. I won't have any time to be on the computer until tonight. I hate days like that!!!
gotta run! Make sure you check out Katrina's blog (teehee)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Here I go again

Another year, another 365 challenge. I really enjoyed that challenge last year and I plan to do it again. I am also posting daily photos to Flickr and I am thinking about putting all those on a page, just lining them up, nothing with embellishments... I really want to improve my photography skills this year, I am still struggling with low light photos, it drives me crazy!
Here is my first 365 page, more like the intro page, since there were only 3 days including Sunday. I will go from Monday to Sunday this time

Saturday Cassie Jones had her famous 30 minute masterpiece challenge. The idea is to finish a page within 30 minutes. She will give us some items to use and some restrictions to follow. this time everything had to bleed off the side of the page, everything. That was a really hard one for me :) Here is my page, although I think I will eventually change it, cause I don't really like it too much...

The new Heritage challenge has been posted too. Here is my page for it

These next two are just for fun (like the others weren't fun to do)

I am still thinking about which bag to order, so I won't have to carry my camera and my purse around all the time. It has to big enough and easily accessible. I want to be able to put my wallet, checkbook etc. in there with the other stuff, so if you have any suggestions, I am all ear :)
I am looking into a Manfrotto tripod also and would really like another lens, but I don't know what to get. I have the 50 1.4, 18-270 3.5 Tamron and the 18-55 3.5. I would like a faster lens, but the prices are prohibitive! We'll see, again, I am open to suggestions.
We have snow and more snow, I am so sick of it already! At least it has stopped for now and the roads are clear, so it's easy travel. Our trashcans are stuck in a pile of snow on the sidewalk from last week, DS will be happy that he won't have to carry them down today...
Okay, this was just a quick update, it's been too long already again..

Oh before I forget, check this blog out tomorrow :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

snow and more snow

it seriously has not stopped snowing in days. Every day the kids have a 2 hour delay. They are keeping up with the roads well enough, driving is still a little treacherous. I am fine not going anywhere, I like sitting in my nice warm house and play on the computer. Even going to Karate is a chore. Gabrielle has a step up day to our Highschool tomorrow, she is all excited about it. I hope they will still be going and the weather doesn't mess it up for her. She keeps talking about how much better the lunches are going to be. Amazing the things that are important :)

I am finally done with my 365 book and it's posted on Shutterfly,

 here is the link. I am quite happy with the way it looks and this way it's doable for me. I don't like doing the same thing all the time, I like the look, but I know myself, I won't finish the year if I keep the pages the same. I am ready to tackle this year also, it really gives me that little extra push to take pictures.

Now I can have some fun with pages again, here are a couple I just finished this morning

I am trying to upload a couple of photos, but am having trouble....

here they are :) like I said, I was really having some fun with Katrina's tutorial. Last night I took a look at our pool in the darkness and couldn't resist getting my tripod and taking some pictures. Phil kept yelling for me to come to bed LOL. It was so much fun though. Let me see if I can get at least one of those...

I just loved the feeling of cold and loneliness you get from this picture. You can see the reflection of my window candle and the falling snow looks like streaks because of the slow shutterspeed. Nothing like playing with your camera :)
Well, it's still snowing outside, it's sickening! We are going to have pasta tonight, so I have to get the sauce going, otherwise we won't make it to Karate tonight (not that I feel like going) Thanks for visiting and have a wonderful day!!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 is here!!!

It seems like yesterday that everybody was shaking in their boots, thinking the world would come to a standstill at the approach of the year 2000 and what a disappointment when absolutely nothing happened :) Can you even believe that was 10 years ago? Wow! Amazing how fast our life goes by, we get older without really taking too much notice and then something like this comes along to throw it right in your face. It's just a little reminder to enjoy your life and not take it for granted I suppose.

We just got back from watching Avatar, we braved the snow that hasn't stopped all day and I was surprised that the theater was still packed. It was awesome!!! Totally fairytale like but so well done, especially in 3D. Gorgeous scenery! The kids couldn't get over how much they liked it, hubby was the only one who kind of smirked at the story but that's okay, it was still great! Who wants reality every time you watch a movie, you might as well just watch the news all day, right?
Yesterday I finally managed to read through Katrina Kennedy's tutorial on capturing lights, in particular Christmas lights. Man, was that an eye opener. I put my camera on a tripod and used the self timer so I wouldn't have to touch it again. Look at this

You get this awesome starburst around the lights. Isn't it the coolest? I really had to crank up the ISO for the shot, thank goodness I have Noiseware, which btw. is just an awesome program, it has saved so many photos for me, I use it all the time.
Here is a page I did today using the pictures from that shoot last night

I would have never thought of moving my shutterspeed this far down, I am so grateful for this tutorial, I was all excited yesterday! I wanted to take more pictures of the tree, but now a strand of lights isn't working, isn't that just grand? I have to fix it first, otherwise no pictures :)

Okay, I am off to a great start in the New Year, I updated my blog, aren't you just proud of me? :) Now I have to finish my 365 pages so that I can start the new year. I really enjoy the project and can't wait to get this year's done, so I can hold it!
Sounding off for tonight!

Never say Never!

Well, here I am creating my very own blog! I was always very sure I would never get into this blogging "thing", but here I am. I hope you will enjoy finding out a little about my not so interesting life!