Saturday, February 28, 2009


It's Saturday, and that means it's Portrait time!

I love how portraits can take on so many different tones and moods. I think the part of the fun as a photographer is getting the mood of the portrait to match the essence of the person--at least in that moment.

It's also fun to just play for artistic reasons.

This week has been full of playing as I edit the photobooth photos I mentioned in my last post. So many different personalities make up a congregation, so many different poses and moods to capture. It's hard today to choose a favourite, but I finally settled on this one. This brother and sister are so sweet, and I just love the way she's looking at her big brother. You can see the love! I also like the results of using Pioneer Woman's "Heartland" action on this photo for a timeless feel.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Coming up Roses

I forgot to blog yesterday! Yes, the sky has fallen! I cannot believe it!

I've been busy doing online classes and webinars and editing up a storm. (When I'm not melting snow to do dishes or bathe. Still no water!) Our church had Shandee and I do photos at a Valentine's dance as a fundraiser. We took over one of the classrooms, set up two different backdrops, a couple of lamps, and went crazy. Everyone really got into the spirit with fun poses and props, but when we got home--disaster! The room has that slightly yellow-tinted paint and the lights just reflected it. Everyone has this horrible, horrible yellow cast to their skin. Picasa and I could do nothing. I really thought I was going to have to make every single photo black and white or sepia just to have anything.


The Photo Editing course opened up at and right there in Lesson One was my solution--and then it was made even simpler in Lesson Two. An answer to prayer! Now instead of gross yellow people, we have nice rosy complexions!

Incidently, "rosy" was the HSMSHS prompt for yesterday. It must be a sign!

Today's prompt is "beads". These ones are a keychain the kids made for Hubby last year for Father's Day at church. Funny thing is, they each made one, so he now has 3 different homemade keychains to tell him he's the "Best Dad Ever" (in case he should ever forget!)

Back to the edits! Thanks for playing!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Construct: To build or erect something by bringing together different elements.

I have a home with 3 small children, so you'd think there'd be no end of construction materials. Here's a secret though: I LOATHE Lego, ken*ex and all the other stuff. Always have, though I had brothers who ADORE it as much as I hate it. Maybe part of the hatred stems from how many times I stepped on something small and sharp on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night?

I did try to be a good mom at first. I bought blocks of all types and descriptions, including that pre-cursor to Lego, the Mega Blocks. I sat on the floor and played with my kids, encouraging them and showing them some ideas for how to use it. They hated it as much as I did. The only thing that really stuck were the wooden blocks, because you can make pretend furniture out of them, and the MegaBlocks characters. (Because TIGGER. Also, PRINCESSES.)

That all changed at Christmas this year though. Santa brought them this super cool and wildly fun marble race game. You can construct different courses with different obstacles and then race your marbles through them. THIS my kids love. Hey, I love it too! I just grabbed the camera as soon as I saw the prompt and snapped a photo of the current construction, a two-tubed course courtesy of Sweetpea (DD2).

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009


The prompt today at HSMSHS: Mascot.

For me, it can only be this guy. My son's best friend, blue teddy. Complete with worn off fur and chewed off nose. Since this photo was taken a couple of years ago, he has also lost his ribbon and a lot more fuzz. His nose has been repaired 3 times now. There's no one we love more, no one who represents my son and his childhood better; and by extension our entire family. You kind of have to know him to understand, but Blue Teddy has become our family mascot. We don't go anywhere or do anything without him. I even use this photo as my avatar on MSN and used to use him on discussion boards.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Hold on

Well, we finally seem to be coming out the other side of our flu pandemic and we're enjoying our big blizzard. Hubby is out shovelling while the kids play right now. All would be perfect in the world...if only our water was working. Hopefully the repairman will be out tomorrow. If not I might start knocking on doors in hopes of a shower.

With that being the case, I've been using the camera to distract myself and have a few dozen pictures of the snow. Snow falling, snow blowing, snow piling up, snow being shovelled. I'm sure there are other ways to photograph it, but not from my window, and unlike my family I'm happy here where it's warm. I'm on hot chocolate detail and get to take a few minutes to check out HSMSHS and giggle like a school girl at today's choice of "rubber". It shouldn't be funny but it is. So many choices to photograph too! I'll stick with the usual for around here, the rubberized headbands that all the local girls wear (my girl included):

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Piling up

I was so excited to be all caught up with HSMSHS, and then yesterday it got away from me again.

My youngest and oldest are both down with the flu. Middle child had her turn last weekend, so hopefully it will stay confined to the two of them.

The prompt yesterday was piles--and let me tell you--I've got piles! I have laundry piles out the wazoo. We've been having water issues for over a month now (repairman comes next week--fingers crossed!) so laundry has been backing up a bit anyway, but with kids taking turns being sick...well, I've got piles of clean stuff waiting to be folded, piles by the washing machine waiting to to in, and piles stacking up in the laundry baskets. It's not pretty, and I'm not sure how taking a photo is going to help anyone. I'm not sure it's something I want a solid memory of.

So I'm going to be digging out a bit today while nursing my sickies. If I get a chance for relief I might get brave and snap a few photos, even get over to the site to see what today's prompt is, but I'm not making promises.

It's been one of those weeks.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Daily Grind

Today's prompt at HSMSHS is "daily".

I have to admit that it took me a while to think of what I'd use for daily. Alarm? Nope, I turn it off now and then. Breakfast? I like to mix it up. E-mail? Please not another screen shot.

Then, while I was thinking, I found myself in the bathroom. Ahhhhhh. Daily. Daily toothbrushing, daily grooming, daily laundry, daily, daily, daily. I now have a fun and eclectic series of photos taken in my bathroom this morning. And that's part of why I love HSMSHS. Things I would never think to photograph have now been captured in fun ways. And who knows? Maybe I'll have to scrapbook them!

Anyway, here's what I chose for daily:

Ahhhh, the shower. Sometimes I stumble in as soon as I roll out of bed. It wakes me and readies me for the day. Some days I yearn for it and never seem to get there, until at last it's bedtime and I can stand under the spray, already half asleep and letting the water work out the kinks before bed. (Of course, now that my hair is short, if I do the second than I really must at least soak my head the next morning. Bed head is a new daily occurance too.) I've never been a bath girl, but there's something almost religious about the shower. So good.

As a bonus, here are the other prompts from this week. I was going to post them last evening but should know better by now---I never get anything done in the evenings.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


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Got to play with this cutie patootie on Monday. I've barely touched the tip of the iceberg with his photos, but I love almost every one I open. He's just so adorable. This one has a little colour adjustment in Picasa but is almost SOOC. Such a cute little guy. I can't wait to dive into those photos--but I have waited, because I've downloaded the trial version of Photoshop and will be staring a course at on Monday (that link will take you to the actual course I'm signing up for). Then I'll see how well it translates to working with the GIMP and decide what direction to take. I will not be defeated by software!

(No HSMSHS post on Thursday because I could not think of a THING for crush. I was away on Friday and most of today, and it's too late now to try to photograph wicker in the dark. Plus some yucky stomach virus is working its way through the kids. Keeping us on our toes!)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The View

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Today's HSMSHS prompt, screen: "[a] blank surface on which moving or still images are projected".

Not too many screens to choose from in our house. One tv, one computer, one old laptop that never gets used. I suppose our phones have tiny display screens, and of course the cameras, but I thought I'd settle with this one, since it's the one I spend the most time with. This shot was taken during the Inaguration for Project 365 and I thought I'd recycle it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


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I picked this little guy up at a craft show shortly after I was married--one of my very first fridge magnets. He was just so happy and cheerful. You could say he drew me in.

And then I started having babies. And what did those babies want? That's right, my gingerbread fridge magnet! I used to put him low on the fridge door and my oldest would spend hours playing with him and the letter magnets I also had by that time. Then along came the next one, and she decided he was good enough to eat. You can see some scrapings left by baby teeth if you look closely. So I had to move him up out of reach...which didn't stop either of them. They quickly learned to push a chair over to the fridge to get their ginger magnet back. Clever kids. I'd chase them away and move him around, thinking if he as on a side they'd forget about him. But they always found him. It became a little game, seeing if they could get him away without me noticing. He regularly went missing, only to be found in a toy bin or under a table.

Now he holds school papers on our big family white board. Still happy to be a part of things. He doesn't go missing anymore, just smiles his happy smile on us.

Monday, February 9, 2009


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President's Choice Chicken Alfredo and Mushroom Calzone.

Sometimes I like to call them my grown-up pizza pockets.

Today I called it lunch. Thanks HSMSHS for making me sure I needed to eat this today!

(and yes, they're quite filling)

Sunday, February 8, 2009


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It's Show Off Sunday at HSMSHS, so I thought I'd share a photo from a photo shoot I was involved with this week. This pretty 1 year old was very patient through multiple costume changes and two photographers. She was just adorable and had no problem showing us all her best faces. It was really a delight to shoot her. She was my first wee one and left me with quite a taste for more. Funnily enough, it's this shot, taken while we were on a break and she was crawling around me, checking out my camera and I, that's my favourite. I just love a super closeup.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Snow much fun!

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Today is Saturday, which means it's time to pull out the portraits! I love this one for several reasons:

1. Practice session with my long lens turned out just fine--lots of great photos to choose from.
2. After spending close to an hour shooting each kiddo, this last shot with both of them feels like some kind of bonus prize.
3. Happy, snowy kids!
4. They're mine! We moms always love photos of our kids.
We're off to winterfest today, so more snowy fun photos tomorrow!

Friday, February 6, 2009

My favourite rows

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My photo for Project 365 on Monday was of the fiction shelves at our local library. Not a very good picture, shot at night as it was, but taken in my happy place.

Today I see that the HSMSHS prompt is rows, and I can't think of rows of anything that make me happier than these!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Endangered Species

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One of exactly 3 in our household. The other two belong with robes. I dug this poor thing out of the back of the closet and hung it over the door for the photo, then stuffed it back in.

Apparently belts don't rate as important fashion accessories around here.

Meter Maid!

I read a lot of blogs. Between my love of photography, my hobby of scrapbooking, my experiences as a mom, my quest for meal ideas, I have a lot of "stuff" in poor Google Reader.

The majority of blogs I read are photographically rich. Several of them are blogs of photogs (and I seem to add a new one every few days) but many are hobbyists who happen to take a great photo. It's on the latter, interestingly enough, that I find the best tips to improve my photography. We hobbyists are excited to learn and everything is new, so we like to share it with others.

Unfortunately, I tend to forget a great tip as soon as I move on to the next blog.

Or do I?

A couple of weeks ago at a birthday party, I was having trouble photographing one of the young guests as he sat with the patio doors at his back. For once my blog reading came to save me, and I remembered a tip shared on Elizabeth Kartchner's blog* aaaaaaaaaaaaages ago. Here's the video she linked to (by the delightful Candice Stringham):

Now I'm still figuring out all the ins and outs of my camera, but for the quick fix what you're looking for is that little star button. I have a Canon and mine's on the right side beside the button for selecting focus points.

Honestly, I was skeptical, but I gave it a whir. Here are both photos, SOOC:

By George it worked! Give praise for the magical star button! (and to my brain for somehow retaining that one).

Just in case it was a fluke, I decided to try it yesterday in the snow when a couple of my photos came out extra dark.

And yes, for those who are doubtless wondering, I did move afterwards so I'd have better light, but I wanted to try it--and it worked wonderfully!

If you'd like more of Candice's tips, you can find them at Creating Keepsakes (They're the series called behind the scenes). If you'd like a treasure trove, YouTube has all kinds of helpful videos. If your brain is like mine, you may want to watch one and IMMEDIATELY try it out so you're less likely to forget.

*Come for the scrapbooking/photos, stay for the playlist. Elizabeth's blog is usually playing in the background while I edit photos. I've found a lot of new favouite artists through her.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wait for meeeeeeee!


Ok, not sure how I got out for a few days, but I'm ready to jump right back into the HSMSHS game with this week's prompts so far.

Monday: Orange

Orange has never been one of my happy colours, but since having kids I'm noticing more and more orange in my space. Winnie the Pooh, clown fish, doll dresses, race cars. The one that really baffles me is this one though:

Listen, I know that no one knows exactly what the dinosaurs looked like, but do you really expect me to believe that the majority of them were, like his toys, bright orange? If so, extinction solved: liver failure.


That reminds me of a story for you:

My Hubby's office is in the centre of a row. The kidney dialysis unit is on one side of his office and a tanning salon is on the other.

Yesterday, waiting to pick him up, a woman pulled up and parked beside us. She slowly got out of her car and I had nothing to do but watch. She was stick thin, had stringy hair, and her skin was an incredibly sickly orange colour. I immediately felt poor for her, brave woman, going in for her treatment. I hoped she'd get the help she needed.

And then she went into the tanning salon.



We live in a strange, strange world.

Tuesday: Trinket

I'm not one for a lot of trinkets or dust catchers. I rarely wear jewellry and dislike clutter. But I love this little gal, who sits atop my stove to keep me company and cheer me as I cook.

Today: Radiate

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful....During the day, these are the rays we count on to keep us warm....and they're fun to watch too. (I thought the coals radiated better than the actual flame). I guess some oranges make me happy after all!

That's my space this week! Can't wait to catch up with all the other players!

PS In case you don't usually follow her, I just thought I'd mention that the Pioneer Woman is having a giveaway for B&H Photography gift certificates. Sweet. (you can follow the link in my sidebar: Pioneer Woman Photography).

Doesn't the title say Superfluous?

How did a week get away from me like that? I really have no idea why I've been missing the HSMSHS prompts. I haven't even always missed taking the photos, just posting to the blog.

Let's blame it on JanuFeb, shall we? I blame everything on JanuFeb. (We don't get along.)

Anyway, here's a random sampling of some of last week's prompts that never made it to post on time:

And, as it turns out, we have a LOT of carvings in our house. I didn't realize how much I like them until that prompt. I'm still finding "carve" to photograph. In fact, I just now thought of another one. So I can't resist sharing a second carve:

And now that that's clear, I'll be off on a little photo safari to catch up on this week. See you in a bit!