19 December 2012

Classy Christmas Photos

One day last month, I made Ben, Levi, and Daisy dress up and load in the car to go take a self family portrait for our Christmas card.  We spent about 20 minutes by a red barn and came out with these.  Everyone left happy...I think I formed some type of self portrait, everyone's still happy success record :)

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11 December 2012

A Real Tree

To make a long story short, we decided to get a real tree for our apartment this year.  We have had an artificial one the past three married years, and were planning on buying a new artificial one next year.  Our reasons for an artificial were as follows: cheaper in the long run, easier, and better for the environment-I mean it has to be bad to cut down all those trees every single year.  If we were going to go real, we wanted the whole experience so we found a cut your own tree farm, St. Joe Christmas Tree Farm.  We had a blast!!!  It was so much fun for all of us.  They had free hot cocoa, a little shop, and a "train" ride that takes you out to the field to cut your tree.  I also think most of my perceptions of real versus fake were incorrect.  I will not go into detail, but I decided to do some research...and it is debatable which is worse for the environment.  I actually am thinking a real tree is the best option when it comes to environmental friendliness. This was my favorite article on the subject, so go read it.  (Of course, no tree is the best option, but I am not willing to give the tree up.)  And bringing in and putting up the real tree was so much easier than digging out our artificial one, sorting the parts, piecing it together, and fluffing the branches all while covering the house in fake needles. The real tree still remains the most expensive, but the fun we had together and the memories made are worth it.  Also, buying a real tree supports a local business! (Most artificial trees are manufactured in China and sold in big box, chain stores.)  It looks like a real tree will become our new tradition!  Ok, here are the pictures...and hey there is one with proof that I was there too :)  I just love our tiny tree.

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04 December 2012

Bedroom...and Other Updates

9.                Teach Daisy a new trick. July 2011   
We decided that teaching Daisy not to play with Levi's toys is a "trick."  Our dog is amazing, we had no trouble getting her to leave Levi's toys alone.  We can mix her and Levi's toys in a pile, and she would only touch hers.  I love my Daisy!

35.            Design business cards for at least 5 people (Ben). (5/5)
Ben designed funny little family cards for us all a while back, just for deign fun nothing to print.  The other one was his card for his short lived graphic design start up with a friend a couple years ago.  

48.            Make a coffee table (Ben). August 2012
No coffee table, but he made an awesome headboard for our bedroom!  Levi watching Daddy work... (See the finished project below.)

49.            Make a lamp (Ben). August 2012
I spray painted a lamp shade on one of our lamps. (Can you say "s-t-r-e-t-c-h"?)  It was a bad idea.  Looks fine in the day and terrible at night when it is on.
53.            Enter a photo into iHeartFaces 5 times (Leitia). (5/5)  See here, here, here, here, and here.
97.            Create a photo display of our parents and grandparents.  Summer 2012
This is not really what I had in mind when I made the goal, but this mega wall collage included photos of parents and grandparents.  I loved this thing, but it is not up anymore.  Levi loved pulling off the bottom photos, and then they all stopped sticking to the wall so I had to take it down.  It was looking pretty trashy.  Boo, I will figure out a better way to do something like this again.  

A while back I wrote a blog post that included a little inspiration board for our bedroom. We made a lot of progress on it.  Our wall art still needs a lot of work, and I am eager to have different color walls.  We would love to buy a house next spring so there will be no more changes until then.  Ben made the headboard. I made the bunting.  Dresser is from craigslist (and I never refinished it...sigh).  Bedspread and side tables from IKEA.  Green bench painted by me from a $3 garage sale find.

Knocked off due to progress on our bedroom and a few DIY projects in the apartment pictured below:
16.            Start paying our own phone bill.
18.            Enter the Mooreland Fair ice cream crank-off (Leitia).

Big wall "art."  Bought canvas frame and stretched fabric over it.

Wooden booster chair painted by me, bought at garage sale for Levi when he is a bit bigger.
Letter holder from TJMaxx and spray painted.  "Pin board" made from old frame and chicken wire with clothes pins decorated with Washi Tape.
Painted step stool. $0.50 garage sale find.

20.            Read 30 books each. (Ben: 21/30, Leitia: 25/30)
Ben: The Last Command by Timothy Zahn, Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Leitia: The Irresistable Henry House by Lisa Grunwald, Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins,  The Portrait Photographers Posing Guide by Nigel Holmes, Understanding Exposure by Brian Peterson
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03 December 2012

New Look

I have been MIA lately.  I am working on a couple posts, one that involves updating our 101 in 1001 list---the post is a lot of work. I think you will notice that my blog got a little makeover.  I just cannot stick with one design, I get bored after a while.  Hope you like the new feel.  I am also working on getting a little online portfolio together showcasing my favorite images.  It may take a while, but someday it will be done. Anywho, here is a photo of my awesome son.

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14 November 2012


A couple months ago, I joined a local photography "club."  Great decision, I am learning so many things by interacting with other photographers.  This week, they set up a model shoot after the meeting.  O goodness, I love these images.  Shooting models was pretty easy because they already know how to pose themselves beautifully, and I am still not very knowledgeable about posing people-I tend to shoot more candidly. We also learned about off camera flash, and got to play with some of the equipment.  I was so thankful to learn more about it, even though it confirmed in me that it is not my style (I prefer working with available light.)  I appreciate it in others, and am happy to have a better understanding.  I am sure you can pick out the four shot with lighting equipment. After doing these, I want my 85 mm lens I am saving for so much more, the lens I have is really not the best portrait lens for individuals :(   Enjoy :)

That last one is my fave..ahhhhh!!!!
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