Sunday, January 30, 2011

The good things

Ok so I bought a card reader for my camera thank goodness it works! So now I will show you why I haven't posted in a while, besides trying to get used to being back at work and having staff meetings and car repair appointments! My dining room used to be what was called on the paint sample Victorian Purple. And I'm sure in someone else's home, with the right accents,and a non flourescent light it would have been gorgeous. However it wasn't. This is the before pic of one wall

I think it is much better and will allow me the added benefit of being able to change accents and decorations when the decorations are not laundry piles and toys:) Anyway, happy Sunday!

The story of a sad Canon owner

I went to upload photos from my camera to my computer today and lo and behold, both computers in our house said that the driver for it was not installed on my computer. So began the endless saga of woe that resulted in me getting really angry. I tried installing it from the disk, I tried installing it from the website, I tried installing it to both computers. The computers said I can't install it on them. Why oh why?? My only guess is, a doomed Windows Vista update ruined my cameras chance at a real computer to camera relationship. I am getting ready to try a memory card reader, because my canon takes the really huge memory cards and my laptop doesn't have a slot for it and the desktop card readers for some reason just don't work.

Also by the way, I just can't do Project 365. I just decided it's not for me. I can't do something that requires me to do it everyday. I'm fickle like that. I start projects and don't finish them. it's part of who I am. I didn't even take a photograph the day I said I was going to start. I am that bad.

I did paint my dining room white though and it looks good. Now if only it wasn't messy:) I also just bought this even a pink and brown fabric to recover my dining room chairs with. Oh and also I spent a TON of money on myself today. And I'm proud of it!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Project 365

I have read about Project 365 over and over again and heard of it from different people in many different places. As an aspiring photographer you would think this would have been a given. It's a way to increase your portfolio, capture your year, and it's really cool to look back through and realize that life happens everyday, not just once in a while. I have decided I am going to start today. Today is January 21. I am starting today.

In other news, I have begun to deliberate over whether I would be a good Lifestyle Photographer. I do not think I would be good in a studio doing portraits. My friend and I have been joking back and forth(or I actually think half joking) about starting a photography business together, and I am beginning to wonder if it is not a great idea. More later.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What will my photos mean in 20 years?

I wrote this post on August 30th this year after looking at a lot of old photographs. I have been waiting to repost it on this blog because I was waiting for a reason to do so!! I came across an article today about a mom/author making her children unplug from all the technology for 6 months. She makes a comment in there that is an echo of what my blog post was about. This is my post. I will then quote her article and link to it so you can read the whole thing if you so choose.

I have been looking at photographs posted on facebook of the area I live from about the past 130 years or so. There is a group of people that have started a group to share old photographs and what a treasure. In the oldest pictures you have that solemn look that so many people had when photographed. Then as the years go by you still see a sort of shyness. As we get closer, a lot of the pictures from the 40′s and 50′s the people seem to have a pride in their faces. Perhaps because their families could afford cameras, or because they had a sense of purpose. I wonder what photos from now will relay in 20 years? People are in pictures so much and so often I don’t think we will ever see a raw photograph again. People going out places dress for the camera. They know they will have their picture taken by some camera, or phone, or Ipod. Our children’s sense of identity is being shaped by seeing themselves on computer screens and in the lcd’s on the back of digital cameras. When our loved ones are dead and gone we will appreciate these photographs, but in the now, how much living are we doing for the sake of living? Are we living for the camera? Is this age of instant photo addiction damaging?

What is real and what is glossed over photographic fantasy? Photo altering now, leads to future confusion. Such as: How yellow was that shirt really? Did the sky really look like that? Was so and so’s teeth really that perfect white? How did she keep her skin so clear? Will it alter our memories of what life was really like? I think it will. How easy it can be to look at a photograph and alter our memory to fit the photo. But the question is…does it matter? Does it matter if in 20 years we regard these years as better than they were? What about 40 years from now? 50? Don’t all people regard their younger years as better than present no matter the circumstances? Is it a matter of rose colored time traveling glasses? Or is it just the fact that as we get older we have the ability to embellish the past. Perhaps, with this glossed over photographic fantasy we are embellishing as we go.
Ok that was my blog post. This is what author Susan Maushart said about her daughters before they unplugged "  Her girls had become mere "accessories of their own social-networking profile, as if real life were simply a dress rehearsal (or more accurately, a photo op) for the next status update."

Is there a day that's going to come when people's bodies fail them, or they no longer want to be photographed and they wake up and realize they don't know how to live their lives without an audience? I think maybe.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tiffany Windows and an Antique Church

Saturday I went to Antiques at the Establishment in a little town called Campbell, in NY. The church is filled with antiques, including the main floor, the two upstairs rooms and the basement. Because it is so huge there is very little heat(and is also part of the reason the church was sold, they couldn't afford to heat the place and the membership declined) and the basement is not heated at all. it was 14 degrees on Saturday so it was freezing! The women who owns the church is very nice, and serves coffee and tea to help keep you warmed up!

I asked if it was ok to take photographs(just to be polite) and she said yes and her husband said, "Yeah while you are at it could you sell some of those Tiffany windows?". Neighborhood kids have been shooting bee bee guns at these gorgeous Tiffany windows!

It's a shame to me about the windows. Business is slow in there, and part of that is the heat. But I think the biggest issue is, like a lot of antique stores, they are not open often, and do not really advertise a lot so people know when they are open. They are open 11-4 Wednesday thru Saturday and then 12-4 on Sunday. I think what they really need is a good website!  Anyway, I bought 2 advertising postcards that are really cute, and an older camera. Just because I really like cameras. Then my mom gifted me a stack of vintage Valentines, Easter Cards and St. Patricks day cards which are really cool. 

 This hair dryer rocks my socks off! I loved the color of it.

I am in love with this. I want it in my kitchen and begone with my current day stove! This to me is just gorgeous.

This is the camera I bought. it doesn't work, but I liked the look of it. I have a thing for cameras. Not necessarily the really old ones, but there are some that really speak to me and this one did. I think this weekend while my 4 year old I am going to paint my dining room. I am planning on painting it white. Crisp, white. I really really like the look of white because I can change the decorations to suit me. Right now I have a color called Victorian Purple and it is so dark, and I am sick of it!! I thought white would be rough with little kids and a dog, but I have been reading lots about white and how it is easier to maintain. We will see. If I don't like, i will just paint over it, because I love to paint. Anyway I am off to get something done! Have an awesome day. I'm sure I will be back:)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Antiques in an old church

There is an old church in my hometown where my parents live. The church has gorgeous Tiffany windows and has been converted into an antique shop. The problem is it is usually only open from 11-4 on certain days of the week. It never seems to fit in my schedule to go! Then I found this in the paper!

 And I just happen to be heading to my moms house this morning...after I eat donuts:) So I will be going to this around 2 and I am very excited to take my camera and take some nice pics and maybe pic up a few little things. I am alotting myself $10. SO I am hoping to find some old postcards or pictures. I will upload the pics later today!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

it's a Marshmallow World in the Winter

Sometimes it's important to take a break. Step back and enjoy the little things. In my life a lot of the little things are the things most important to me. Hot coffee for instant signifies warmth and contentment. Add cocoa and marshmallows to coffee and's perfect.


Here's the thing. I should be limited to only one thing. No options, no cornucopias of available projects. When this happens I freak out! I can't decide what to do, so I wander aimlessly(just ask my husband) and get nothing started. THe tack project has to wait until later because of a minor snow issue, I couldn't get to the craft store. I have papers I could use on something, and I keep looking at my shelves, and all sorts of things seeing the potential in them. I really want to just do it! Any suggestions on just going for it?

I decided to try something little. I have a plaque that was hanging in my kitchen that I got at the Salvation Army. It says Coffee 25cents. Nothing fancy and quite frankly I forgot I had it I haven't looked at it in that long. So I spray painted it cream. Now later today I am going to use my Cricut cartridge, Paisley, and cut some paisleys out of vintage-esque paper and Mod Podge them on there. Just as something to get me started.

Monday, January 10, 2011

diy and stuff

I am not the most crafty person. Though, I have never really tried. I get frustrated because I can't buy all the stuff I want to buy and do it the exact way I want and I give up. I admit it. I just plain get depressed and mope for a day after that. So. I have a bag of fabric that I ganked from a yard sale my mom was having and it didn't sell. I have decided that I am going to try one simple little project that all it takes is a box of tacks and buttons I can get for less then $2. I am going to make fabric tacks for my inspiration board. I found the tutorial here when I was googling leftover fabric projects. :)

I suppose I can pick up the buttons I need tomorrow between dance classes because Joanns is right there. I also picked up a great book and book/magazine. One is by one of my favorite companies and is called Somerset Life. Another one of the things that happens when I want to get creative and can't is because I need direction. I really do, and Somerset Life has the actual directions to do things which is nice. The other book is called Blogging For Bliss and highlights how to have a blog that captures your creative self. The best part is it shows a whole bunch of artists and crafter's blogs and I love looking and reading them!!Anyway, I have something on Photoshop I am about to try, so I bid you adieu.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Update: Lazy eh hem Sunday

Ok so I know there are still a few hours left before I will head to bed. Which is good because I didn't quite accomplish what I wanted to do today. But I did get Kayla's room hoed out. It was insane. I got her bin system sorted out so it could be used the way it was intended. I also took a few pics outside, not nearly as many as I had wanted to because it was 24 out but the Weather channel said it felt like 10. I am going to get some tea now, and look at the new Country Living magazine. Maybe rip out some pictures that I like. I also moved my inspiration board just now, so now it is near my desk. Here are some pictures from outside:

This pine tree is one of two that was given away at an event we attended. They are basically just a branch that had roots, but apparently it was enough. So far they are surviving, and since I love pine trees I want them to grow big and strong. I don't care if it kills our grass. I just don't. Here is a picture of the inspiration board and my nook with my desk. Just so you have a visual reference:

 The nook I am in is actually bigger than it looks on here! Anyway, onward to the rest of my Sunday evening.

A lazy sunday

Well for the first time since October I don't have to work today. I have a few plans, one involves a new Country Living magazine. Another involves snow, a baby pine branch that we planted to grow, my camera and who knows. I am working on a new banner for the website my father runs for a local winterguard, so I'm looking forward to that. My girls and husband are home, so it will be nice to be all together. I am also going to change the location of the inspiration board my sister Shawna made for me for my birthday. Now that I have a desk area in my living room ina little nook, I am going to hang it so I can look at it while I am at my computer.

I would also like to try out one of the science kids my oldest daughter got for Christmas. My sister Shawna made my girls soaps with squinkies inside, you can see them here!

But Kayla got a soap making kit for Christmas but that really needs to wait. We have soap nubs all over the bathroom. The girls have been trying to get the squinkies out so they stay in the bath FOREVER, and then try and gouge the soaps out. Once they get them out, the nubs are left to rot on the edge of the tub so we have a ton of them!

On another note, I find this very irritating. It's winter here and it's snowy and cold. So what does that make me want to do? Go to flea markets and yard sales. I wanted to spend days doing these things. Guess what there aren't any of? Yep. Flea markets and yard sales. Our local Salvation Army is terrible. I mean it. Anyway,  I suppose it's off to do something i want to do before I lose the ambition!

In closing i am leaving you with a picture. One that makes me think of warm stuff and flea markets and yard sales and days out in the backyard!


Friday, January 7, 2011

Weird Curved Lines

Ok so here's the thing. This morning, at about 7:00am when I took the dog out, I saw these lines in the snow. They were thin, and they would go straight for a while then curve, then pick up somewhere else, and do the same thing. For a visual reference, it looks probably like if you took an ice skate and drove it through snow, but magically, because there were no footprints at all around them. They were in my backyard and side yard and in the alley outback as well. I thought maybe someone had been riding a bicycle through, but there were no tread marks. So weird. It creeps me out. Then there were half circle almost brush marks on the sidewalk to my back porch. Of course I couldn't take pictures because by the time I got home, the snow had melted. But what was it!! How did this happen? Is this the snow version of crop circles? Maybe alien  ice skates made them!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What I wrote when I turned 30

I wrote this a few months ago, but feel the need to put it here because it really says a lot about who I am and what I am about.
I started my 20′s pregnant, and since then a lot has happened. I am not scared to turn 30 any more than I was scared to have a baby before I had expected I would have a baby, or anymore than I was scared to finally get my license at 24, or go back to college with a toddler, or walk in to a job interview. I don’t get scared.In this past 10 years I moved into an apartment, got married, had a little girl, moved into another apartment, worked in a deli at a grocery store, started back to college, bought a new car, got my license, bought a house, got a dog, joined a gym, got pregnant, quit the gym, continued at college, and then had my daughter, lost my sister, and had surgery all in the space of 3 months. I got a job, joined a gym, quit the gym, and finally graduated college. I lost a wonderful, old family friend and almost lost my grandmothers, and watched my dad have cancer removed. I lost weight, twice, and finally settled into dance classes. Throughout the bigger things, smaller things have weaved in and out and through, building up those things I have begun to know about myself.
I have learned that even though I never experienced my 20′s the way many others did, out at clubs or bars, chilling with friends, I didn’t miss out.
Being a mother is a great thing, but remaining my self through out it, is more difficult than I can put in to words. I think for myself, sometimes it is easier to focus on my kids and their growth and selves, than it is to focus on my growth and my self. My goal for my 30′s, is to stay me, and focus on becoming a great woman.
I have learned not to watch the news and no matter how much others think I should be informed, I do not regret that I am not up on every issue. I have learned that watching the news brings me down. I then have to go through a cycle that involves depression, thinking I can do nothing to change things, a few glimmers of hope, and then realizing that by raising my children well, I am doing something to change things. Then I swear off watching the news until I accidentally hear some or read some. Repeat cycle.
I have learned that I can fall into shit and come out smelling like roses so not to fear the shit. That is partially why I don’t get scared.  In my life I can honestly say that everything happens for a reason, and that reason is not always about me. I have found that if I am in a bad mood, I just need to sit with it. Be with that moodiness instead of analyzing how I got there. Sometimes I can get grumpy hearing a note of a song. Don’t analyze….just go with it.
I have learned that losing some one close to you is painful, but that watching someone who is close to you and younger than you die, when you can do nothing to stop it, is the most helpless feeling imaginable. After my younger sister died for a while I felt helpless and on constant edge, wondering if that would happen to my children under my watch. I have learned I can’t worry about it. I have also learned that during one of the most awful things that happened to me, I was able to stay strong and come back from it. What a relief to know that I have that strength in me.
I have learned that there are simple things that make me deliriously happy. One of those things is having a piping hot latte, and browsing a book store, or reading a book, or playing a video game, or driving, or well you get the picture. Tide laundry detergent makes my heart sing. Having full cupboards and refrigerator. Opening the canister on the vacuum and seeing how much cleaner my house must be. Taking a bath with bubbles and a book, and tea or coffee. Hiking. Tomato plants. Playing Lord of the Rings online with my husband. Scouring the racks at the thrift store.Going to yard sales and flea markets with my parents. Getting really good deals from clearance racks.Dancing.
I have learned that when you become a mother you will think there is a certain way to be. Don’t be that. Do the other one. The one where you wear what you want, say what you want, and have the kind of things you like. If they are a little off, a little strange, it teaches a good lesson to your children to be whoever you think you are and it helps keep you happy and filled up inside.
I have learned that some people do not listen to me. This is a hard one for me. I talk a lot and for me to come to terms with this says a lot about how far I have come. There are times when I am telling a story, and the person I am talking to is obviously not listening, I will trail off and they don’t notice, so I just walk away and normally the person will look a little dazed, like they were doing something but can’t remember what, and then go about their day forgetting we were having a conversation. I am learning it is ok to not have your story heard, but to be damn sure you even have stories worth telling.
I have learned that being an independent person is difficult to maintain when you are married and have children, but it is highly important to do so. This is why, I do as much for myself as I can and take time for myself as often as I can.
I have learned that I have to take care of my body. No one can do it for me, and I am going to want it in good shape when I turn 40.
I have learned that no matter how hard I try, I can not look at things outside the lens of being a mother.
I have learned that at a certain point, your kid is just not listening anymore so get in the most important points in the front.
I still haven’t learned to just get to the point!
I have found that I have NO KNACK for house cleaning. In my house there are toys, shoes, just stuff, everywhere. I tackle major cleaning projects every once and a while, minor ones every once in a while, and someday in the future my dream is to have a housekeeper. I have learned that there is no point giving myself a hard time about it.
I think the most important thing I know about myself is that I think a lot more than I should, start many projects that I don’t finish, and generally flail around looking for that one thing I want to do for the rest of my life. Often I feel angry at myself that I cannot settle with something. So I feel mad because I don’t know what I want to do with my life, guilty because I start things and don’t finish them, and then feel like a failure because of it. I’m constantly searching, looking. In my mind that one thing is just beyond my reach, so I stretch and stretch to reach it and before I can grasp it, it has drifted off again. So I have learned to give myself a break. To let it go. To not worry about what I want to do, become, or accomplish. It really stresses me out. If I have something I want to try, and get halfway through and quit, it’s ok. No matter how much I get teased or scolded, it is ok.
I have found a person to share my life with that will let me flail when I need to, who doesn’t force me to fit in to a mold, and who really takes me for who and what I am. He will wade through the half finished projects, thoughts, and things to tell me that I am wonderful and beautiful, a fantastic mother, wife, and person.
Now that I am 30 I have decided that I like what I like. Cool huh? I do not have to pretend I like something i don’t, I don’t have to pretend to be interested when I clearly am not, and I’ve decided that I like dancing, vegetable gardening, antiquing, shopping, shoes, books, coffee, clothes, crunchy leaves, learning, laughing, history, vintage clothing, snapshots I find at yard sales and at antique stores, video games, photography, and billions of other things. I still LOVE Drum Corps and miss it beyond words as I do Winterguard.  Things i don’t like that I probably never will? Politics and NASCAR.
I feel sturdier in myself and what I think and feel. I feel stronger and braver. Definitely feistier. I feel like my feet are planted firmly and I just thing my 30′s are going to be amazing. So thank you 20′s for being what you were, for bringing me my husband and my beautiful children. Thank you for showing me how strong I am, and thank you for helping me understand that I am who I am and damn it, I’m not changing. So peace out 20′s and hello 30′s!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Making something out of nothing at all

Things go on in my head. Lots of things that I would love to talk about. So I am starting this blog to get these things out of my head and into the world. Some will be weird. Others will be really weird. Most of the time I won't make sense, but I am putting it out there anyway.

I am also learning new things. When I was a junior and senior in high school, I took a graphic communications course. It was half day, and we learned everything that would have been needed at the time to go from preproduction to print. I learned Photoshop, I learned photography and how to develop pictures. I learned how to design and shoot a line shot. Then how to take that line shot and put it on a press and print it. It was an amazing class. Of course now, instead of Photoshop 2 it is CS5, and there are so few small scale printing presses. I wish I could go back and take that class again, with the technology of today. However I can't! So I have begun rebuilding my skills with Photoshop CS2 and I have now a Wacom tablet and Bamboo pen that I am slowly, VERY slowly, learning how to use. I am not a great drawer to begin with, in fact, I fail more times than not. But I am trying.

So while I am unveiling my new blog I am also unveiling my very first drawing and design done with Photoshop and my tablet. I am proud of it, and I am getting used to the weirdness of the tablet. Cause it is weird! I know the more i use it the better I get and well, quite frankly, I can't wait to keep trying.

So welcome to my blog!