Saturday, October 31, 2009

day 51.

My sweet hubby and I went out on this rainy Saturday to have fun with some friends. These are our friends.

We were all dressed up and were going to go trick-or-treating in some swanky neighborhood or find some party to crash, but we ended up at the mall. Then we went to Taco Mac.

I'll post pics of our mall fun soon.

Digital Field Guide: page 57, ISO sensitivity and noise reduction

Images: bossbob50 on Flickr

Friday, October 30, 2009

day 50.

Yep. It was raining today. AGAIN. It's supposed to be raining tomorrow too. Awesome.

Taken with my iphone using that somewhat crappy zoom app again, then processed using Picnik.

Digital Field Guide: pages 56-57, about white balance

Images: MamaYou on Flickr

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I was led to this post on Kelly Rae Roberts' blog after perusing the link love list for October on Michelle Ward's blog . (Michelle is a very inspiring life/career coach for creative types.) I read it and was really touched by what she wrote.

Kelly's paintings are beautiful. So thoughtful. And the images really butterfly kiss one's heart.

Besides that though, she has only been painting for three years. That's a short time, really. Looking at what she is producing would make one assume that she's been doing this since she was in high school or something. But she talks about how one negative experience when she was younger stifled her creative expression, and how she has found it again only within the last three years. It was quite an inspiring read. One thing that she said that really struck me was this:

"...all it takes is a bit of passion, courage, and commitment to make a dream come true. anything is possible."

Just a bit.

A bit of these things.

I would add, a bit of faith. A mustard seed's amount really, right?

If all it takes is just a bit, why on earth do we let ourselves remain stalled at the gate?

No more stalling for me. I'm going for everything. With all of the gusto that I have, and most definitely with the bits of the above-mentioned ingredients. The joy of knowing I am just doing it without reservation is a huge payoff in and of itself.

day 49.

I like this one because it looks like it's twenty years old.

Taken with my iphone using this somewhat crappy zoom app that I have.

Digital Field Guide: pages 56-57, White Balance

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

day 48: self-portrait.

Another self-portrait. I'm trying to explore some different ways of doing these.

Taken and processed on my iphone using CameraBag app.

Digital Field Guide: page 56, White Balance

Images: Horst P. Horst

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

day 47: raindrops keep falling on my head.

So, it was raining today. Again. All day. Yip.

Taken with my iphone and processed using Picnik.

Digital Field Guide: page 56, Image size (very small section)

Images: The Music Portfolio set of jaredpolin on Flickr

getting my things together.

So, I mentioned a few days ago that I would be starting a new 30-day challenge. I have officially signed up for it, so no turning back now. I will start on 1 November, and will divulge all of the delightful details then. What I will say for now is that I am trying to prepare myself (practically speaking) by gathering some materials that I plan to use. Namely, books. And this has everything to do with this creativity spark that has been lit within me, which I talked about briefly here.

I'm very excited about doing this challenge, and it will, indeed, be a challenge for me. But I eagerly anticipate what comes out of it, and am happily expecting to grow in new ways as an artist.

Monday, October 26, 2009

day 46.

A giant, mountainous cloud. One of many in the sky this afternoon.

Digital Field Guide: page 55, Image Quality

Images: Irving Penn

Sunday, October 25, 2009

day 45.

I love the vibrant color of the flowers. And that huge pumpkin. This is on the square in McDonough. many squares do I know??

Digital Field Guide: page 55, about custom image optimization

Images: Ansel Adams. He's always been one of my favorites. He's probably one of everybody's favorites.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

day 44: lights.

I really like these lights. And the burgers at this place are good too. It's called Canyons.

Digital Field Guide: Page 54. Again. Because I was half asleep when I read it before. It happens.

Images: Berenice Abbott

Friday, October 23, 2009

day 43.

I always enjoy looking in the windows of this little antique shop on the square in Woodstock.

Digital Field Guide: page 54, Shooting Menu Preferences

Images: Jerri Johnson on Flickr

day 42.

On Marietta Square.

Digital Field Guide: page 53, Playback Menu Settings cont'd.

Images: LoveMissB on Flickr

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

day 41.

My sweet hubby's hard-working hand.

Digital Field Guide: page 52, Playback Menu Settings

Images: Gordon Parks

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I have way too many things swirling around in my head at any given moment. That probably happens to a lot of people. Sometimes it's rather frustrating because it makes me feel like I can't focus or I'm missing out because I'm not already doing all of the list of things. Other times it's exciting, because I think, possibilities! Opportunities!

I'm not really sure which one of those moments this one is yet. Maybe it's a little of both. What I will say is, to help give myself some focus and accountability, I am embarking on another 30-day challenge. I'll divulge more about that soon. I'm very excited about it, but it also feels a bit intimidating. I do feel that if I can keep with it and see it through, I am going to feel so accomplished at the end.

Also, I'm still working on my list of Etsy wardrobe finds. I'm just about finished, and will post it within the week. It's given me several ideas for other posts/lists too, kind of like my own Listmania without the book! One idea is to share my current top five photography crushes every month. There's a good idea. Also my top five favorite artists every month.

And that's just a couple of ideas. that they're out there, on "paper," my mind already feels a lot less cluttered!

day 40.

Coming soon.

Digital Field Guide: page 51, intro to Chapter 3: Setting up the Nikon D40/D40x. I wonder what the 'x' is for?

Images: Max H on Flickr

Monday, October 19, 2009

day 39.

My son, outside talking to one of his friends on the phone. It kind of still seems like just yesterday...okay...not yesterday, a few weeks ago...that he was just two years old. Now he's knocking on thirteen (the day after Christmas). Time moves a smidge too fast for me.

Digital Field Guide: Page 50. Again. Because I was kind of half-reading it yesterday. And I won't say "kind of" anymore.

day 38.

I think Michelangelo is one of the coolest ever. I went to Italy and visited the Sistine Chapel when I was a Senior in college. I couldn't even believe I was there. I want all of us to go one day. It really is too incredible for words.

Digital Field Guide: page 50, Image Overlay

Images: Ana Cuba, website and blog

day 37.

I like taking pictures of food too, believe it or not.

My kids (and husband) really like CiCi's pizza. Me? Meh. Kinda over it.

Digital Field Guide: page 49, Small Picture

Images: Joan Kocak

oh, autumn.

Well, hello there, Autumn. It's nice to see you again. I was wondering where you went. I missed you. You left so abruptly it had me startled. And confused. And a little annoyed. Where do you get off just up and disappearing like that? Knock it off.

And stay for as long as you're supposed to. Because I love you. Okay? Mmkay.

day 36.

He was getting tired of me trying to get a good shot of him.

Digital Field Guide: page 49, Filter Effects

Images: Mark Weaver on Flickr

day 35.

Okay. So I'm thinking I may possibly have a thing for signage...

Digital Field Guide: page 48, Monochrome

Images: James Van Der Zee

Sunday, October 18, 2009

falling on the rock.

This has been quite a harrowing week.

Every day, there was some negative news of some kind.

I found myself racked with anxiety and worry.

Losing sleep.

Entertaining nervous habits.

Entertaining depression, even.

That is never a good thing.

How quickly I forgot. It's alarming just how quickly I forgot.

The Kingdom of Heaven for me is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.


That is what I own. I never have to give it up. I can daily humble myself under the mighty hand of God, casting all my cares on Him, because He cares for me.

He CARES for me.


With that knowledge, what on earth have I to worry about? Why on earth would I ever entertain anxiety, nervous habits, or depression for one second? Either He cares for me or He doesn't. I know the truth. Let God be true and every man a liar.

I know how to keep from forgetting. Falling on the Rock. Every day. Better to fall on the Rock and be broken (humble, and thus exalted and given grace), than to have the Rock fall on me and be crushed (pride always goes before a fall).

I am reminded. And I am looking forward to a new day filled with righteousness, peace, and joy.

day 34.

I went back to the piano today. No cord this time.

Digital Field Guide: page 48, Red-eye Correction and Trim

Saturday, October 17, 2009

day 33.

Taken and processed with my iPhone.

Digital Field Guide: page 47, D-lighting. What a delight.

gap casting call.

I entered my two youngest in the Gap Casting Call. If I had a dollar for every time I've been told that my son looks like he should be in Gap ads, I could go buy him a nice wardrobe at the Gap right now! Along with some extra stuff for me.

They need votes, so you can go and vote for each of their photos every day until 17 November. The prize is a new wardrobe if they win.

Here are the pictures of my kidlets:

So, if you think they're cute enough to be in Gap ads, by all means, go vote for them! I appreciate it.

day 32.

Brandon Willett is a fabulous artist and musician from Charlotte who came to our church during the Supernatural Creativity Conference a few weeks ago. He's also a dj. Multi-talented, I tell you.

His blog is called BWILLACKERS Blogface, and it's the most.

Digital Field Guide: page 47, working with the retouch menu

Images: viva la vibs on Flickr

day 31.

This is the tree we've seen the hawk in before. I just love how blue the sky is.

Digital Field Guide: page 46, using noise reduction section

Friday, October 16, 2009

found: handmade charlotte.

So, here's a found link that's truly great and is going on the blogroll. Yep, that GIANT list of links on the left? This one makes number seven. Seven's a great number! And it belongs to my awesome friend Rachel.

Her name is Rachel Faucett, and she is the proprietor of Handmade Charlotte and the author of the blog of the same name. Rachel is a prolific artist, having produced so many varied and fabulous objects I can hardly keep it straight. At the moment, her wares of choice are little girls' fashions. Delightful little girls' fashions. Seriously delightful.

I am so glad I have a little girl so that I can avail myself (and her) of this delightful clothing. And yes, I keep using the word 'delightful.' On purpose.

It's delightful because it's girly and frilly in all of the right ways. It hearkens to an earlier, seemingly simpler time, while at the same time retaining a modern, baby Bohemian feel. And the fabrics that she chooses are just so pretty.

You'd best believe I have a few of Rachel's items reserved for my little rosebud, like this little gem of a top.

Rachel is one of my favorite friends for a number of reasons. We're about the same age and both homeschool our kids so we always have a lot to talk about. She's so talented and really cool and artsy and craftsy. She gives me her clothes. (And believe me, they're cool clothes.) She has led such an interesting life (she played competitive tennis with many of the pros on tour now) and lives on this idyllic farm at the base of a mountain with a beautiful lake and lots of animals and this awesome house which she and her husband renovated. She's just a fabulous person to know, and her blog is a treasure trove of finds for those who, like I, love art and design.

Go check out her blog, her Etsy shop, and her Flickr photostream, and expect to hear the name Handmade Charlotte a lot in the blogosphere in the near future.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

a lovely fall outfit.

I know I said I would put together a list of Etsy wardrobe finds, and I'm still working on that. Turns out I had more favorites than even I had realized! But for now,

I've put together a cute little fall outfit for myself.

I'd do the tall boots, and accompany all of this with some leggings or thick tights...a deep purple maybe?

All of these splendid items come from Ruche. The dress is found here, the boots here, and the darling chiffon necklace is here.

Ruche is nice.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

photography challenge, day 30.

More iPhone goodness.

This is the thirtieth day of the photography challenge, which signifies the end of the challenge as it was originally stated here. However, in light of the fact that I really believe that I can become this crazy-good photographer in a year's time if I work at it diligently, I am going to transition this into a 365-day project. I am looking forward to seeing just what I can produce in this time.

I am on page 54 in my Digital Field Guide, reading about shooting menu preferences.

For inspiration today, I started going through some of my Flickr contacts, and I came across HamWithCam. His Atlanta Botanical Gardens photo set is beautiful.

Many thanks to Tasra Dawson for hosting this challenge! Her site is where I found out about it, and I am so glad I did. And I am on her blog as part of her list of "365 tweeps." Awesome.

Monday, October 12, 2009

photography challenge, day 29.

I think the inside of pianos is just as pretty as the outside. And this would have been a terrific shot if that STUPID CORD from the piano lamp hadn't found its way into it! Argh.

I'm on Page 53 of my Digital Field Guide, still in the section on playback menu settings.

For inspiration today, check out the photography sets at Ann-Kathrin Koch Documentary Photography. The aeroplane set is my absolute favorite. It is amazing.

I am doing this photography challenge as a result of being inspired by what I saw on this site.

photog challenge, day 28.

Yeah. I'm excited about Ruth's Chris opening not too far from my house.

In my Digital Field Guide, I started the Playback Menu Settings section on page 52.

Found a brand new photographer today whose work I had never seen before: Marcie Scudder. No wedding photography here. Just dreamy images of birds and animals, namely dogs. And some kids. I really like it.

Go to Tasra Dawson's site for more information about this photography challenge.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

photog challenge, day 27.

This is another one I took and processed with my iphone. Sweet.

I read pages 50-51 in my Digital Field Guide. Pretty much just the introduction to the chapter. The kidlets were absolutely wild this evening, so not a whole lot of reading going on. At least I know what the chapter is about!

It seems as though a lot of the photography websites I have come across are wedding photography sites. Becker Photography is another. But wow, what brilliant shots they are.

Really brilliant.

To see more brilliant photos, go here.

photog challenge, day 26.

This would be a good occasion to have a framing option for images posted in one's blog. Sigh. Anyway...

What I liked about this photo are the little green "berries." My eyes were drawn to them instantly.

Which brings this to mind...I should probably learn about composition and stuff...yeah.

In my trusty Digital Field Guide, I am still on pages 46-50. Not because I didn't understand it; I just forgot it. So I needed to go back over it so I could try things out with Niki.

And no, I am not weird...I just tend to personalize certain items in my life. My Macbook's name is Elaine, but I call her Squishy. Yes, to be ironic. My car is Shelly, because I joke around about her being a "shell" of a car. And since my camera just about goes with me everywhere, I now refer to her as my "non-human bff." And as such, she needed a name. Since she's a Nikon (and a "she"), I named her Niki. I've done this ever since I got my first car when I was in college. It was a red 1990 Honda Civic four-door sedan, and I loved her. I named her Sadie, The Little Red Car.

Wow. That was an aside.

As for inspiration, I was very impressed with the images of Jessica Claire. So many of her photos looked as if one could just walk right into them. Awesome.

I am doing this challenge along with Tasra Dawson.

finishing what i've started.

Here I am, with the finish line of my 30-day challenge in my sight, and I am a bit amazed that I am actually finishing it! I am hard pressed to remember the last thing that I started (that wasn't an obligation) that I actually finished. Really. Everything I do is some sort of obligation. Not necessarily all bad obligations, but obligations nonetheless. I can recall different projects I've started over the past few years, and I have not finished them. But doing this has lit a real fire up under me, to actually follow through on at least one or two of the other projects. And that's exactly what I am going to do.

Not only that, but I've decided to continue with the photo challenge, and turn it into a 365-day project. I remember seeing those on Flickr a couple of years ago and thinking, "Hey...I should do that." Well, now's as good a time as any, and here I am already about 30 days into it!

So, from now until 11 September 2010 (11 September is the day I began this challenge), I will have a photo to share, either completely un-edited or processed in some way. Either with Niki (yes my D40 has a name, and it's Niki), or my iphone. I will still read something in my Digital Field Guide each day and share another photographer's work for inspiration.

And I will still blog about other things here too, since this is my only maintained blog now and I'd like to keep it that way for simplicity's sake.

My photography is bound to improve in a year's time, right?


photography challenge, day 25.

Photography has, very quickly and unexpectedly, crept up on me and made me fall head over heels in love with it. Over the last year it has grown into a full-blown passion, and it has me ├╝ber-excited. Be that as it may, it is not my first earthly, non-human love. Music is.

I am becoming a photographer, a person who loves photography, a person who does photography.

I am a musician. It is beyond what I love or what I do. It is who I am.

I don't wake up wanting to sing. I wake up singing.

My guitar is always near, my flute is always near, my keyboard is always near. And now, my camera is always near. However, I am still in the stage of needing inspiration for pictures. Not so with music. I think in songs.

I am so psyched to grow in this new passion and see where it takes me, but I wonder if it, too, can become just who I am? Time will tell.

Until that time, I continue to learn. All kinds of new information. Pages 47-50 in my Digital Field Guide. About using the retouch menu. THIS is cool.

For inspiration, I really enjoyed looking at the work of Raya Carlisle today. I would describe her work as, "sunny."

Props to Tasra Dawson for hosting this challenge!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

photog challenge, day 24.

My son and a buddy of his were playing around on their guitars during the snack break between classes at Master's Academy. (Actually, he's using my guitar.) He has grown really passionate about playing the guitar, and has gotten really good on the bass too. Now he wants DJ equipment for Christmas. He really has become this musician, and I love seeing it. The same thing happened to me when I was a kid.

I'm on pages 45-47 in my Digital Field Guide, and they're talking about adjusting ISO sensitivity. Thank God this section of the book goes into more detail with the subjects that had me befuddled before. Now I am understanding and am eager to try things out.

Today's inspiration is the photography of Yvette Inufio. There I go again, with the dreamy, creamy, cloudy, vintage-looking stuff again. What can I say? That stuff really has my heart right now.

Another site for great images is that of the host of this challenge, Tasra Dawson.

found: wardrobe choices.

So, it's been a couple of YEARS since my last "found" post. I was reading over my blog archives the other day, and I started thinking about maybe bringing back a couple of elements that I had before. Like the "found" posts. I may not put every single link in the sidebar though; I'm thinking maybe I'll do posts of a select number of "found" links relating to a particular category. If the category has anything to do with art and design, or home comforts, I'll probably put those things in the sidebar.

Today the category is clothing. I've found some great sites that I've bookmarked or saved somewhere else or written down or whatever...

One is Shabby Apple. I've written several recommendations about this company over at thisnext because I am so impressed with their clothing. They have the most awesome dresses. Not only that, but they have incredible dresses for young girls. I could spend a lot of money over there. I think there are about seven or eight dresses on my perpetual wish list.

Another fine source is Shade Clothing. They also have lovely dresses that look ultra-comfortable and easy to wear, like this one. They also have a large selection of items for layering, tank tops and tees.

Down East Basics has a great selection of skirts. I also like their sweaters and tops. They also carry a maternity line, a young girls' line and a mens' line.

Tabeez describes their line as "trend-setting, modest apparel." They've got awesome tops (like this plaid ruffle top) and belts. They even have skin care and shoes.

And speaking of shoes, Wanted Shoes is an awesome site. I seriously want these boots. And these. I also want these mary janes. And these.

And if you have some serious money to spend, you could always invest in something like this lovely Orla Kiely dress, or this lovely ensemble from Kate Spade, or this J. Crew ensemble, or this sweet dress from Banana Republic.

Of course, Anthropologie is always good. Always. It's hard to resist when they offer outfits like

I have found several wardrobe options on Etsy as well, but I will share those in another post.

One day I'll figure out html coding or whatever it is so that I can just post lovely collages of images from the internet instead of a bunch of links.

photography challenge, day 23.

There is a random grill at school. That's all I have to say about this.

Today I moved on to pages 44 and 45 in my Digital Field Guide, about adjusting exposures with EV (Exposure Value) corrections. I get it; now I'll go and try it out.

I went image hunting today and found Dan Chen and his site, Chennergy Weddings. I was mesmerized by his work. It is absolutely GORGEOUS.

I found out about this challenge by happening onto Tasra Dawson's site.

photography challenge, day 22: the hawk.

There is a hawk that hangs out in our neighborhood quite often. We've seen him hanging out in different trees, and it's obvious. You know it's a large bird when you can see it, clearly, in a tree, from a distance, with your naked eye.

I switched lenses and snapped this shot of him right before he flew off.

Pages 40-44 in my Digital Field Guide were read today. They go into detail about choosing metering modes. Man that was helpful.

And now, for images and inspiration...I subscribe to Jenifer Altman's blog, Nectar and Light. Both her website and her blog are worth spending large amounts of time clicking and looking.

Find more information about this challenge here.

my would-be portfolio: chicago family edition, part 2.

I didn't take that picture of me with my three kids; my husband took that one. Good job.

The Chicago Scenery and Family Editions of My Would-Be Portfolio are big ones, so stay tuned.

Friday, October 09, 2009

photography challenge, day 21.

I like this little red cart. I don't know what it's for...popcorn maybe? Anyway, it's cute.

Pages 39 and 40 in my Digital Field Guide are about the semiautomatic and manual exposure modes. Again, I'm not any clearer on apertures and shutters. Sigh. I'll keep going.

Today's photog inspiration come from Oranje. These are some excellent vividly colored images that still maintain a vintage feel. Very cool. I love the buildings and signs, too.

Be sure to check out Tasra Dawson's site for information on this challenge.

photography challenge, day 20.

So, my favorite drink from Starbucks is the Green Tea Frappuccino. I usually get it with a little bit of blackberry or raspberry syrup added, but this time I think I actually forgot(!) to ask for it.
It's okay, though. It was still scrumptious. Absolutely sublime. So sublime even, that I took a picture of it in all of its green glory.

I call it bliss in a cup, and I actually knocked off a version of my own a few years ago and that makes me very happy. But thanks to gift cards, I can still enjoy the real thing in addition to my homegrown knockoff on a fairly regular basis.

In my Digital Field Guide, I'm on pages 38 and 39 which review the programmed exposure modes. So, cool.

Marc Loret Photography has some beautiful nature shots, among other things, and that's what I have been looking at today.

Here is some information on the challenge that I am doing.

photog challenge, day 19.

This is one of the two lenses that I own. I would like to get a Macro lens eventually, but right now these are suiting me just fine since I'm such a green newbie.

Pages 37 and 38 in my Digital Field Guide are about adjusting ISO sensitivity and setting white balance. And I still have no clue.

Here's some mighty-fine inspiration for today: Bueller. This is some sweet Through The Viewfinder photography.

Tasra Dawson has a site full of great photos too, and it's where I found out about this challenge.

my would-be portfolio, chicago scenery edition, part 2.

Yep. Picking and choosing photos is hard.