Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Picture Spring - Charmed

Today's prompt was to commemorate a favorite charm, necklace or keepsake in a photo and to set it up so that it had some context.

This pendant was purchased in December 2004 - on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Hawaii with my family.
As my Christmas gift, I was able to choose one piece of jewelry from Hawaii. I chose this piece from the Maui Divers "Paradise" Collection  because each element of the pendant has meaning. The black coral in the shape of a wave represents the ocean; the gold leaves represent Hawaiian royalty; the diamonds are stars in the night sky, the pearl is the Moon over Diamond Head.  The black coral and pearl are both mined from Hawaiian waters. In fact, black coral is Hawaii's state gemstone! (Learn something new today?)

To me this pendant brings back memories of one of the best family vacations of my life! The photo is the background was taken in Lahaina the same night we bought the pendant.

Art Journal

Monday, April 26, 2010

Set it Sunday

Take a Second Glantz

I'm late again. But I'm here and that's what matters right?  I came off a crazy busy weekend. Soccer car wash, bank, hair salon, prom preparation and laundry on Saturday. Peter (Becca's boyfriend) around all day on Sunday, laundry, grocery shopping, strip & remake bed, trip to the Mall, return Peter's tux, hit sale at Bath & BodyWorks, out to dinner, collapse in front of television and ultimately go to bed early utterly exhausted.  So how did last week go?  Let see...

Last Week's Goals:

1. Gym three times. - check!
2. 1 each Gratitude and Art Journal layouts. um, not exactly. 0 Gratitude layouts, 2 Art Journal layouts. I guess I went where the inspiration took me.
3. Keep up with Picture Spring prompts and post photos on blog. check!                              
4. Take photos, jot notes and collect ephemera for "Week in the Life" project. mostly check - I did take pictures everyday and copious notes through Thursday. I fell apart over the weekend. I'm not surprised. Now I just need to figure out what to do with all that I collected!
5. Spend 20 minutes/weekday tagging photos or digi elements - Wednesday is excluded (yes again - we have a board of directors meeting at work, that really kills my day). um. not so much. I've spent all my time this week just post-processing the photos I've taken and uploaded. And that was definitely more than 20 minutes a day!  So we'll have to call that even.
6. Enroll Leadfoot and Fraidycat in Driver's Ed. check!
7. Set up payment plan for Sarah's tuition next year. check! and first payment made!
This Week's Goals:

1. Gym three times.
2. 1 each Gratitude and Art Journal layouts (or 2 Gratitude layouts).
3. Keep up with Picture Spring prompts and post photos on blog.
4. Spend 20 minutes/weekday tagging photos or digi elements or processing photos.
5. Hang new shower curtain. (this sounds like a five minute deal, but it's not. Involves flattening curtain, trimming, and sewing weights at bottom - which is why it isn't done yet, even though I bought the new curtain three weeks ago!)
6. Make some decisions and do SOMETHING with my Week in the Life project!

Picture Spring - Make a Wish

April 26 - Make a Wish

Today's prompt was to photograph dandelions.  I had sort of anticipated that this would be coming up and since I have a dandelion-free yard (thanks to big bucks spent on a lawn company), I made a quick trip to the local park on Saturday morning.  Good thing too, it is rainy and grey today.

This is my first shot. Dandelion in the grass, shot straight down.

Dandelion against impossibly blue sky (no I did NOT color enhance!)

Dandelion against tree trunk.  The contrast really does make the flower pop.

Shooting up into the sun - and yes, I nearly went blind getting this shot, even with sunglasses on!

Picture Spring

April 24 - Love is in the Air

The prompt for Saturday was to find pairings in nature. But I had a busy day with soccer car wash in the morning, then daughter to salon and prepare for prom in afternoon. And Spring is prom season after all!  Becca has been dating Peter for a year now. Although she is only a sophomore, he is a junior (at another school) so she went to his prom on Saturday.  So not ready for my baby to be this grown up!

She has the best smile!
I love the emotion in this photo - and the fact that their heads and arms make the shape of a heart.

Friday, April 23, 2010

What's in Your Bag?

On April 15, Stacy Julian issued a blog challenge to photograph and document the contents of your purse. I'm a little late to the party, but I thought it would be a good photo for the Week in the Life project that I'm working on (hosted on Ali Edwards' blog).  So here goes:

I carry a Vera Bradley "Betsy" handbag. I'm not the kind of gal who changes bags with every outfit. Too much work. I literally have one bag and I carry it all the time. I've been carrying this one for going on two years and am about ready for a new pattern!

Starting on the left - small coin purse holds all those different store cards (ugh). Stain remover, sunscreen, anti-bacterial handwash, assortment of pens and medication.

In the center, my matching wallet with cash, license, major credit cards, receipts, business cards.  On the right - small 4x6 photo album has been re-purposed to hold coupons from various stores (JCPenney, Bath & Body Works, American Eagle, Kohls, etc.). It is really nice to have one central storage place for all those various coupons and offers and know that I have them with me when I shop. Pink coupon holder for groceries. Small tape measure (to make sure things I'm going to purchase will fit where they are meant to go). Blackberry charger (not usually in my purse). Personal cell phone. Blackberry for work (yes, I carry two phones, and yes, it is a pain in the butt!).

Not shown but usually in my purse:  my point & shoot camera (I needed it to take the photo!); small day planner/calendar; lots of loose receipts and trash.  Looks like I'm prepared for about anything.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Picture Spring

April 22 - "Bursting with Color"

I wore these earrings to work to add a pop of color to my tonal beige outfit.

Ridiculously up-close and personal with a daffodil.

These dahlias that we planted are so bright and happy.

I got in even closer to catch the detail.

And my most artistic shot of the day with plenty of sun flare and bokeh for fun!

Picture Spring

April 21 "Daily Rounds" (the circles in our life)

Since I had to be at work early yesterday, this was the first circle I took notice of!

At the office, this logo is on the wall in the reception area, right when you walk in.  It's an important circle in my life.

But these are the most meaningful circles of all.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Art Journal

Took two of those photos I took for the "messages" prompt for Picture Spring and created an Art Journal layout - fitting because this week's Itinerary is "character traits":

This honestly uses too many different kits to post credits - if you want to know any specifics, please ask!

My second layout also began with a Picture Spring photo!

Picture Spring

The prompt for the 19th was "Hidden Messages". I chose one of my favorite passages from "Simple Abundance".

Then I remembered this bracelet. The message is on the inside - just to remind me when I'm feeling "less than."

Today's prompt (20th) was to capture pictures of flare.  I got these three different looks.

I know this technique will take some practice, but I like this one the best - with the flare on the right and bokeh from the tree on the left.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Insomnia Sucks

I woke up at 2:30 a.m. with a splitting headache. Usually I take two excedrin and go back to sleep. So I toddled downstairs found the water and excedrin in the dark and swallowed two. I realized I was having difficulty breathing ~ not the rush to the hospital type ~ just the congestion/allergies variety. And I noticed that it was a little cooler downstairs... maybe the heat was different, maybe because I was no longer under covers next to DH - the human furnace.  Okay, don't fight it - just go lay down on the sofa and fall asleep.
So I lay down. Grabbed a throw and covered up. And waited to fall blissfully back to sleep. But my mind would NOT. SHUT. OFF. 

I tried focusing on my breathing. In. Out. Rise. Fall. In. Out. I tried picturing the ocean waves as I breathed. In. Out. In. Out. Question of the day - how long does it take for a dead mouse to start to smell? I mean, we need to know if that mouse was behind the fridge since February or if it is a newcomer to the party. I'll have to google it in the morning. {answer according to google - it probably died within the last few days to a week - oh joy.}  Oh wait, focus on my breathing. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out. Virginia Beach? Outer Banks? I've always wanted to visit that place with the wild horses... Breathing. Concentrate Cheri. In. Out. In. Out. But really, we should be able to have a vacation this year.  Wonder if we could re-create part of our honeymoon trip for our 25th anniversary? Skyline Drive. The Luray Caverns. Would the girls like the Luray Caverns? But Virginia was horridly hot and humid in August.  Oh god, breathing. In. Out. In. Out. I should blog about this. In. Out. In. Out.

And so it went. On and on. At 4:00 a.m. I gave up and went downstairs. Maybe reading my email and google reader will get me sleepy. Okay - early morning comments on blog posts and reading email completed at 4:22 a.m. ~ Let's try again to fall asleep.  Breathing. Calm your mind. Relax your muscles one at a time. In. Out. In. Out. Unclench the jaw. In. Out. In. Out. Birds Chirping. Seriously? At 4:30 in the morning? It is nowhere near dawn yet! Must be nice to have a song in your heart at 4 friggin 30 in the morning.  In. Out. In. Out. Crap, creaking floor boards. DH is up. That means it is like 5:30 already. We really should have done a better job fixing the subfloor when we put hardwood floors in the bedroom. Hate that damn creaking sound. In. Out. Water running. Wow, it is really loud downstairs ~ not sure what the plumber did during the remodel, but you can really hear the bathroom water quite loudly from the pipes that go through the kitchen. Wonder how much it would cost to open the soffit and insulate (ie - soundproof) those pipes?  Breathe Cheri. In. Out. In. Out. Oh what the hell, DH will be coming down any minute to send me upstairs anyway, why bother now?

Sure enough, 6 a.m. DH comes downstairs and I go up. 6:30 a.m. Becca comes in to have me braid her hair for "spirit day" for soccer. Away game today. And once I've braided that super thick head of hair into two herringbone braids, I'm wide awake, so might as well get up and have breakfast. Ugh. I need some sleep.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Set it Sunday

Take a Second Glantz
Last Week's Goals:
1. Gym three times. check PLUS! I actually went FOUR times! Three regular workouts and a yoga class!
2. 1 each Gratitude and Art Journal layouts. check PLUS! Two of each! (of course, I was behind so it is really catch -up)
3. Keep up with Picture Spring prompts and post photos on blog.  Check! I chose not to do the Sat/Sun prompts - Saturday was to photograph "spring" fabric - I was at a crop all day and didn't see any, and the prompt didn't really move me. Today was to photograph grass - I've already done that in a prior prompt, so again, not feeling it.
4. Pay Taxes (ugh).  Check! and mailed with two days to spare! :)
5. Spend 15 minutes/weekday tagging photos or digi elements - Wednesday is excluded.  I think I did, but I'm not really positive.

This Week's Goals:
1. Gym three times.
2. 1 each Gratitude and Art Journal layouts.
3. Keep up with Picture Spring prompts and post photos on blog.
4. Take photos, jot notes and collect ephemera for "Week in the Life" project.
5. Spend 20 minutes/weekday tagging photos or digi elements - Wednesday is excluded (yes again - we have a board of directors meeting at work, that really kills my day).
6. Enroll Leadfoot and Fraidycat in Driver's Ed.

7. Set up payment plan for Sarah's tuition next year.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

More from the Crop

First up - the layout contest. We were given the black paper and chipboard accents. This is actually 12x12 - I got closer with the camera to catch the detail. I added the blue paper, ribbon, and blue and black brads framing the photo all from my stash! Yes, major stash busting happening today. I have not bought anything from the vendors!

A Junque Journal page - using up some bits and pieces of ephemera I had from my scrapbook biz days and busting my stash of prima flowers, ribbon, buttons, and stickers.

Another Junque Journal page. I crumpled up the patterned paper and then inked it for the background.  Used the leftover butterfly from my flower girls layout, some prima flowers, and a bookplate.  I'm not sure what it is about this particular self-portrait that I took for the Picture Spring class (catchlights prompt) but it really feels so... ME.

Something for Nothing Revisited

Some of you may recall this background paper that I created last month as part of the Something for Nothing class:
Well... it has finally become a layout!

This is much truer to actual color than the photo above.  It is all shades of cream and tan with a hint of yellow.  The wedding took place in 1998 just before Rachel and Becca turned five. Becca took her role as a flower girl quite seriously and stood dutifully next to her Aunt Elizabeth.  Rachel, on the other hand, was unimpressed and having none it - she chose to sit with the guests!

All the elements of this layout are from my stash (ribbon border, ribbon roses, buttons, cardstock and pattern papers) with the exception of the butterflies which were purchased for the layout.

Here's a couple of close-ups:

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Five

Five Things Inspiring Me Today:

1. My bloggy friend Kai is walking a 5K on May 15 for breast cancer.  Great cause and I applaud Kai for doing it.  Check out her blog for the link to make a donation! (In the right hand panel).

2. Shimelle is having a virtual crop party all weekend long!  Projects and challenges in the forums. Since I'll be at a real-life crop tomorrow (yeah!) I'll definitely be checking out the action.

3. Ali Edwards Week in the Life project starts on Monday. There are multiple posts on her blog to get your ideas going and new product being released at Designer Digitals tomorrow.  I'll be in line to buy Ali's templates! Anyone joining me?

4. Cheryl has turned off the comments on her blog and directed you to a number of friends' blogs.  Definitely some worthwhile links and thanks for the shout out Cheryl!

5. Picture Spring class continues to be a huge source of inspiration! And I learned that a "Picture Summer" class will be coming up!  I'll definitely be taking that one and may end up with a "seasons" album before this is over.  I love Tracey's prompts and it has really gotten me looking at my world in a new way.

The prompt for the 14th was to purposely shoot out of focus to create a "painterly" feel.  Bed of tulips at Conference Center where I was for meeting on Wednesday. No post-processing actions - this was just out of focus!

The 15th we had a break.

Today's prompt was to capture shadows. I see this shadow from my bedroom window frequently and love the lacey effect on the lawn. Getting the shot from ground level (can't take it from the window because of the screen) was a bit more challenging but if you look close you can see the accidental rainbow captured on the right!

Art Journal

Both of these are a little less "artsy" than what I've been trying to do with the art journal, but I'm happy with them anyway! (The prompt for Week 15 was "nature").

Weekly Gratitude

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More of Picture Spring

Blue skies. Happened to catch a plane trail right behind the sun.

Refreshing rain on a newly planted dahlia.
Water drop coming off electric meter. Did I mention it rained today?
Awakening leaf bud (one of the last trees that hasn't leafed out yet).
The front of our mailbox. We have no idea of the origin of this hole.  A woodpecker? BB gun?  Everyday beauty category.
Definitely an oddity. This is actually a knot in the tree in our front yard from where a lower branch was taken off years ago.  Doesn't it look like an eye, complete with catchlight?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Picture Spring - Day 13 - Perspective

Today's prompt was to see things from the perspective of a pet or family member. So...

Meet Ashley. Ashley is one of the two felines that owns this family.  Today I'm shooting from Ashley's point of view and I'm allowing her to borrow my blog to tell you the story of her typical morning.

After my mommies leave for school in the morning, I hop up on the kitchen counter and get a drink from the fish bowl. I know I don't belong on the counter and my humans are always chasing me off, but I just keep on doing it anyway.  There is just something about the taste of fish water in the morning. Yum.  My silly humans tried to stop me by putting a strainer over the top of the fish bowl. HA! I just knock it off!  Anyway, here's what I see when I look in the fish bowl ... or at least what I would see if I could see in color!

After quenching my thirst, I usually go take a look out the window....

I love to sit on the window seat in the living room and stare out at the front yard. Sometimes I get lucky and see birdies or squirrels.  My humans made this window seat just for me.  When I get bored of the view I head upstairs for a nap.

One of my favorite places to nap is on Becca's bed. She's the youngest human in my house and the one I love the best. Unfortunately, my sister Kira likes to nap here too.  This view would be awesome if Kira would go nap elsewhere.  She's a bit bi-polar and likes to smack me for no good reason. 

Okay, you can go now. I'm settling in for my nap.