Thursday, October 09, 2014

Me: The Abridged Version?

I'm taking Cathy Z's class.  Me: The Abridged Version will result in a whole scrapbook about ME with photos and journaling about ME. It's going to be hard, but I'm committed to doing it! I had originally planned on doing US: The Abridged Version. But after listening to Cathy explain the class today, I decided to challenge my self.

And while we are talking about ME, I jokingly wrote a review to my favourite person, maybe I've mentioned her here, Karen (we're on a first name basis so I'll drop the Russell) and she emailed me seconds later to ask permission to blog it. Heck ya! You can read it here.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

The hardest thing about blogging is coming up with a title.

I have been colouring up a storm this last week. Colouring has never been something I have been good at. I don't have the patience. I squeeze the pen to hard. Being a lefty usually means a lot of smudging too. But since taking the Copic Markers for Card Makers class, I have found that with a little patience and a lot of Copic markers, I can colour better than a 5 year old! 
I made the following 2 cards before the class, when I had no idea what I was doing.

Now  I have some knowledge! And we all know knowledge is power! I get it! The whole blending thing was explained and I can know when to keep going and when to stop!

We celebrate quite a few birthdays in October around here, starting with these too! I think $3 was won on the scratch tickets. Sadly no one has won big with the tickets Grandma buys.
I don't advertise my self, and I know it's something I need to work on. But when Courtney asked if I'd  do a couples shoot for her, I jumped at the chance, knowing she's very photogenic. How could I go wrong?  They were the most adorable, cooperative subjects I've had in awhile! 
I used my CTMH Artfullly Sent Cricut cartridge to cut the photo sleeve for the thank you card. I love those cartridges and have been using them for everything! 
I'm off to make the most of my last day of 5 off. Must order an ice cream cake, take my photos back to Costco, buy Omega 3 fatty oils because they are supposed to help with my memory, and some other things that I can't remember, but will remember after I get home and find I didn't do them.

Friday, September 26, 2014

What I did on my summer vacation....

I'm starting from the present and working backwards. 
1. because I'm too lazy to click and drag these photos into chronological order.
2. because I'm too lazy to look up the dates that I took these photos. 

Today, I coloured this image for a Copic Markers for Cardmakers class. It's my favourite colouring job so far. 
 Mom and I took E to Anime Revolution again, and we didn't hang out at the con. We went to the PNE with my aunt and uncle and my brother. 
 Our niece got married! Despite the somber faces pictured here, everyone had a great time! Never danced so much at a wedding!
 When we go to Vancouver, we always go to Meat and Bread. I just love that Porchetta. Justin does too, he's serious about it.

 For the first time in probably 20 years, we went to the Rock Creek Fall fair and E wanted to go too. We had to get ride tickets to go on all those scary rides! I'm smiling here, but shortly after I was just about crying, and apparently dropping F bombs like crazy. 
 There was a CTMH event while I was in Vancouver so I went. Had a good time, make a cute album, and a necklace, and met a new friend!
 We stayed late at the PNE but didn't go on any rides.
 I got this super cute card from Michelle and April for my birthday, we had lunch at Memphis Blues, and I've been using my birthday gift card to buy Copic markers at Michaels.
 We finally got this framed. Thanks Ikea and E for some original art work.

 The spaghetti squash plants have been over producing this year. That wagon is 18 years old and had probably had a kid in it 2x. But it's been useful this year for wedding shower presents, and squash. 
 A new daring hair-do!
 Someone looking for strawberries in a garden that clearly needs weeding.
 Birthday Funday Sunday! with the Meyers! 
 The PNE, at the Trooper concert. Not bad!  (photo by Justin)
 Birthday Schnitzel for Matt! I think everyone should have their birthday at the Gasthaus!
Splurged and bought our first big piece of furniture. A leather sectional. It has gotten mixed reviews but I really like it, even if it's not really comfy for naps yet. 
The lens fairy bought me this lovely new little lens for my birthday, she got a wicked deal at work. 

And that's about it. You are now up to date on this poorly maintained blog of mine. 

Monday, June 23, 2014


It's no secret that I love Karen Russell. I think she's the cat's meow. (Or the cat's pajama's or the cat's ass.) She's all that and a bag of chips! 
I'm in the middle of taking her Making the Shoot 3. It's fitting that the course runs at exactly this time,  it's the anniversary of when I met Karen and my 8 other amazing housemates at the Hometown Workshop. The course focuses on FOCUS!
Karen has a knack for pushing people outside of their comfort zones. I'm perfectly happy taking pictures of Linus. But when she said we needed to have cooperative subjects for our assignments, I knew I was in trouble. My kids are not so cooperative.
She also explained Back Button Focusing in terms I could understand and I've been shooting that way for weeks now. 
When Nancy, my hairdresser, called about my appointment she mentioned that her daughter needed some tips on using her new camera. Luckily, she has a Canon. I saw an opportunity for both of us to get what we needed. Win-win. We went to the park and shot all the photos I needed and we talked cameras, got bit by bugs, covered in cotton fluff from those nasty trees. Hopefully, I didn't overwhelm her. Seriously talking about cameras helped me too, it made me stop and think about my settings before using my trigger happy fingers!
*still can't figure out why the odd photo won't line up with the rest. 

For the second assignment, we had to have a subject that was candid and moving. I tried using Linus but that was unsuccessful.  So I asked Kerry if I could go with him on Saturday when he went mountain biking. This meant I had to get up with the sun on my day off.  I realized I was not making it easy for my self. I can't control the direction of the trails, or the trees, or the sun.
We went up to Crawford, in the end we figured I walked 5 km. I wanted to find an area that was more open, and the area that was burned out was the best. It's still sad to see all the dead trees, but the new growth is coming along just fine.
 I sat in bushes, on charred logs, in grass, to get these shots. I checked thoroughly for ticks after too.
In the end, I got some decent shots, and a few might say are pretty good. I have learned so much about what is adequate focus and when tack sharp focus matters. 
Now let's got back in time... a few weeks ago, my cousin got married. I had already committed to BBF for 90 days, what a perfect time to make or break it. 
After reviewing them, knowing now what is adequately sharp, tack sharp, and just plain old out of focus soft, I am proud to say the majority were adequately sharp and tack sharp!
And by the way, the wedding was beautiful.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Best Mother's Day Gift

I don't think I asked for anything for Mother's Day, mainly because of a few reasons….

1. I got to meet my idol, Karen Russell last year, and yes, she's still my idol, despite that saying that says you shouldn't meet your idols or heroes. I also met a group of amazing ladies that have changed my life. 
2. While my life isn't perfect, it's good, and it's mine. 
3. I don't need another piece of camera or scrapbooking related items, right now. 

So all I wanted was good weather, good food (which is short listed greatly due to my sensitivities), and good family, and maybe some good photos! I got them all!

We realized that while Shaun works in one of the best bakeries in town, he is sadly the worst cupcake froster in town. 
 He declared the cupcakes to be delicious!
Then in awe, asked if Emily made them, to which the answer was "Yes!" To which I yelled "with the help of that box!"
 He was so impressed he iced her cupcake special!
 Then I made them go out for a few photos before everyone got here.
Kerry did his best with the camera now that it's set up for BBF! For some reason the kids like looking off into the distance pose.
Clearly I do not.  It was around this time one kid said "we will never have the normal family photo", I  hope not. And the other kid said "you should scrapbook this!" Oh, believe me, I will! 
 Someone decided that Linus needed to be in the shots, he looks enormous here, and is not impressed.
I don' t even care that no one put on a fancy shirt, because really, this is who they are. Shaun in his one of 24 Tommy Hilfiger shirts, Kerry in a Disney shirt, and Emily in some anime shirt. 
The bbq had the winter off, I was mad at it. The heat has warped the grills, and to replace them will cost more than the bbq. It's 1.5 years old. 
These two are trouble. Linus is still sleeping the weekend off. Dad asked what the wood was for. I said campfires. I could be so good on that show "Hoarders"!
 Checking out Kerry's wieners. 
 We always give moms flowers for Mother's day, this year I made them pose with their gifts.
Mom always gets hanging baskets but this year she seemed to admire Kerry's mom's pots, maybe next year we will change it up! 
 This one cracks me up because usually it's one of us with our eyes closed!
I had to get a shot of Shaun leaving with this box. I have become some what of a box hoarder. The other day Kerry was cleaning up the dining room and asked if he could recycle the 3 boxes in there, before I could answer Emily said "No, you never know when you will need them!" and Kerry replied "You are your mother's child." We decided to set those 3 free, because there were 5 or more in the basement.  Shaun needed one big box for his pop cans, so we decided he was worthy and gave him one. 

He left before we could change our mind. 

And before you think we had this picture perfect Mother's Day, believe me, I took 190 photos, only 102 made the cut. And that's mainly because one or more persons had their eyes closed, too open, or had more than one chin. I can proudly say only 3 were totally out of focus and 2 of those weren't taken by me! 2 photos were of the ground, not sure what happened there. But 100% of them were hilarious, and that is perfect. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Pocketful of Popcorn

I'm taking a course on focusing from Karen and now that the weather is nicer, I wanted to get out and put my new skills to use. Back Button Focusing…BBF…has not been my BFF. I tired it, and I went back to the conventional way. But Karen explains the reasons and how to do it so well, I had to try it. She could sell me anything! So with a pocket full of popcorn, Linus and I headed out to the yard while Kerry was mowing. 

"We" practiced in different spots, with my 70-200 mm lens because I haven't used that one in ages. Now that we took out the walnut tree and curly willow, we have less shade in the back. It made it work to avoid the dappled light.
 I don't love this full bodied shot, that chicken wire is only there to keep that dog of the fence where he likes to look at the neighbours.  
 "We" even practiced in the full sun with pretty decent results! 
 We took a break to check the strawberry progress.
 Linus noticed the "good" dog behind us, he never barks, ever, where as Linus barks his head off if he thinks the good dog is outside or a bird flies over or someone breathes 3 houses away.
 In the same spot, just zoomed in.
 Next to the wood pile. We don't have a fire place or a stove but we have a wood pile.
So far, it's not a bad way to spend Mother's Day. Hope everyone else is doing something they enjoy!

(as I type this, the family is vacuuming and icing cupcakes I can't eat in preparation for Mother's Day dinner!)