Monday, November 30, 2009

day 81.

So I guess this means Autumn is just about over. (I'm aware that it doesn't really end until a few weeks from now, but these leaves really tell the tale.)

It's okay; December is here tomorrow! And December is like the best month ever!

Digital Field Guide: page 71, Light transmitted by the lens

Images: PRM Photography on Flickr

art every day month, day 30: done!

I am a little amazed that I was able to see this art challenge through to the end. Now that I've reached the last day of the month, I really do feel a great sense of accomplishment. I also feel confident that I can keep going and growing as an artist and learning new things with no reservations. This has been an awesome time!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

day 80: fail.

Taken with my iPhone.

What is it, you ask? A piece of the beautiful city skyline, of course!

This is what happens when one tries to take pictures of pretty buildings in the city at night while in a moving car. It just goes...wrong.

So yeah, it was a fail, but hey. I like those squiggly lines.

Digital Field Guide: page 70, Light transmitted by the lens

Images: DeGabriele Photography

art every day month, day 29.

This was an extremely busy Sunday. I was lucky to get in a little bit of drawing. I started Lesson Three in the Drawing Textbook by Bruce McIntyre. This lesson, although it looked simple enough, proved to be a little more difficult for me. But that's exactly what I need: a challenge.

I mentioned at the beginning of this month that I would be using other resources as well. I started to move on to the first lesson in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain before doing this one, but I decided that it would be better for me to work through several lessons at a time in each book before moving on to a different book. Hence, I've only used Bruce McIntyre's book this month. All of the other days were filled with either creative photos, or doodles, or watercolors or some project I needed to work on.

My drawing will continue beyond this challenge though, and hopefully by next November I will do this challenge again and will have worked through a good portion of all of my resources. That's a decent goal.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

day 79: birthday boy.

My son had a blast at his birthday party today.

Digital Field Guide: page 70, Light produced by a scene

Images: mawphoto's Doll Photography set on Flickr, several of which I saved a few years ago and I still love looking at them.

art every day month, day 28.

This is one of many beautiful churches in the city. I love churches; the architecture really is amazing and inspiring.

Playing around with photos on the editing/post-processing side is beyond fun. It is mildly addictive.

This iPhone photo was processed using Picnik.

ian's birth story.

He was always a feisty one, even in the womb.

He had a strong kick and a strong punch, and was very good at commanding my attention.

I was grateful that he was of compact size (6 pounds 4 ounces), but even as a wee one he was all muscle. A strong, fearless young man with an indomitable spirit was what I knew I had on my hands. And I loved him so much.

The first thing one of the nurses said when she saw him was, "My, he's got big hands and feet!" And he did.

These were some of my first reflections as I was thinking about my son this morning. Today is his fourth birthday and he's going to have a great party with a cake that his Mawmaw made for him. I'm also going to put together a "Year of Ian" photo album on my Facebook page.

He is such a wonderful child. I know every parent says that. And yes, every child is wonderful, but what I mean is, for all of his might and strength and feistiness, he is also incredibly loving and gracious and patient with others and warm-hearted. These are qualities that I pray will only intensify with time, along with his other attributes of strength and resolve.

He really is all BOY. There was never a dull moment with him even when I was pregnant. He kicked and moved in a way that hurt. Often. He craved junk food, especially buffalo chicken tenders with ranch and good burgers. Not a whole lot of vegetables. And Coke. Oh, the amount of Coke that I drank that summer/fall of '05 is frightening. Coke flat. Iced Coke. Frozen Cokes. Vanilla Coke. 12 packs. Yikes.

I was not supposed to get pregnant with him at all, since I had been diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and was told after seeing a condition-confirming ultrasound that there really was no way I could get pregnant until that was fixed (and then they gave me this short list/timetable of treatment options). I decided to trust the Lord and a mere two months after my diagnosis (after being told I would need to do about a year of treatment) I found myself pregnant with my sweet Ian.

The day before he came was a Sunday. I woke up that morning with consistent contractions that were about ten minutes apart. I knew I was in labor. They were still fairly mild enough that I felt I could continue with my day. So we went to church, then afterwards was my baby shower at a nice Mexican restaurant. I contracted that whole time, but it was really nothing unbearable. I enjoyed my food and my baby shower, and that evening I sent my husband to the store to pick up one of those massage mats that go in chairs. The contractions were much more intense by then, but I decided to go the sleep-on-the-massage-mat route and just go to the hospital the next morning. I slept on the couch that night, and every time I felt a contraction coming on I just turned the dial up to max and breathed through it until it was over. It worked, and I managed to get some sleep.

I woke up around 5-something, and my husband and I decided he would definitely stay home and not go to work. I got up and went to the bathroom, and my water broke on the toilet. That was a new sensation for me since my water did not break with my oldest son. It felt like Ian had punched or kicked as hard as he could and I jumped. It was pretty much over after that. The pain was too much for me to handle and I could not get off of the toilet. My husband ended up calling an ambulance, and I was pushing in the ambulance. Better yet, IAN was pushing in the ambulance! The EMT's kept telling me to be calm and "whatever you do, try not to push. We can deliver this baby here, but we don't want to have to do that." I agreed as best I could but I knew I was doing nothing except groaning! My SON was the one pushing!

Long story short, we arrived at the hospital at 7:11. He was born at 7:19.

I think I may have pushed three times, or twice. The doctor on call walked in as I was pushing and rushed to get his gear on. He almost missed the show!

Looking back, I laugh every time I think about it. What an adventure!

What follows below is what I wrote about three months after Ian was born.


Ian Michael Bradshaw is a beautiful little baby boy. He was born November 28, 2005 at 7:19 A.M. We arrived at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital at 7:11 A.M. We almost didn’t make it! It was an eventful morning, a few days after Thanksgiving and a few days before my birthday, which is December 1st. I was so happy to finally meet this little guy who had been kicking my pelvic bone into a frenzy for several months. It was just the two of us; Ian’s dad and big brother didn’t even make it to the hospital until sometime after 9 A.M. Daddy was upset but I reassured him that everything happened the way it needed to and the Lord’s plans are always the best for us. We both fell in love with Ian all over again, for we had already fallen in love with him instantly when we first saw him over the ultrasound. I of course was in love the moment I found out he was there. What a blessing he has been.

At five weeks, Ian was already bouncing up and down on his legs. He could hold his head up on his own once we got him home from the hospital and he was off of the bili-bed. He first smiled at me on January 31st, in the backseat of the car. That was exciting. He has the prettiest smile. And the cutest sneeze. And the most darling fingers and toes. And scrumptious cheeks. He is absolutely wonderful, and we all love him so much. I am so grateful to the Lord for giving me this beautiful baby who was blessed to be born into so much love. He lives in a home with a family that loves each other, with parents who are in love and love each other, and a big brother who loves him. He lives in a peaceful, joyful, harmonious, love-filled, God-centered home.

On February 8 (or around that date), Ian discovered his foot. It was the cutest thing. He wiggled his toes one way, then the other, then he reached out with his little hand and grabbed his foot! It was obvious he was concentrating really hard. Trying to get his body to cooperate with what his brain wants to do is a new activity. The same thing happens when he talks. It is clear that he has so much to say, but his mouth has not caught up yet. I have a feeling he will be talking at an early age, though. He is doing everything else early—bouncing, sitting up with little support, holding his head up on his own, holding a bottle with little support, reaching for objects, putting one foot in front of the other. He is so much fun.

Ian is an Irish-Gaelic-Scottish form of the name John. It means “God is Gracious.” Michael means “One who is like God,” and “Enlightened by God.” I’d like to study the meanings of his name a little bit more, but I know that the Lord blessed us in the Year of Grace with Grace, showing his grace toward us. He prospered us in preparation for this child, and that was gracious. He continues to prosper us and extend his grace toward us. He has also enlightened us in this last year. Ian is a prophetic picture of what the Lord has done in our lives spiritually. He is an immense blessing.

I’m so excited to have two beautiful boys who will grow to become strong, valiant, mighty warriors of God.

Friday, November 27, 2009

the simple things.

Last Tuesday, I stumbled across this sublime blog somehow, called Soul Aperture. The writer, Christina, had written this incredibly blessed post, simply titled, The Simple Things.

I loved reading her list of simple, everyday things that enrich life for her. She invited others to join in and post their own lists. I decided to do one for Thanksgiving-time, since so many are reflecting on what makes them thankful. I am very thankful for so much, and I reflect on that often during the year, not just during November. However, there are lots of things that I think we really do take for granted -- nondescript, barely-there or ever-underlying things that keep us going every day even though we don't notice them. They truly are simple things. I believe that it's the simple things that, if we think about it for a moment we will realize, actually make us happiest.

I could go on quite a long time with my list, but I'll keep it short.

the simple things.

the kidlets' belly laughs
decaf coffee with flavored creamer
christmas carols
scented lotion
looking at pretty pictures

pot roast in the slow cooker
going for a drive
my son practicing the guitar
playing games with dice
my husband's eyes

listening to opera and jazz
watching old movies
twinkle lights
cocoa puffs
window shopping

a friend's sweet voice on the phone
cool breezes
apple cider with caramel syrup
visiting with good friends
my baby's soft skin
singing, singing, and more singing

day 78: black friday.

Taken with my iPhone and processed using CameraBag.

I did not leave the house today until after 3. I stepped out the door and saw the moon over the trees and thought it was quite pretty.

Digital Field Guide: page 69, Light produced by a scene

Images: Emily Patton on Flickr

art every day month, day 27.

My week of photo art continues! I processed this one using Picnik.

Tomorrow I will post one last photo and then the oh-so-hectic week will be over, and I can get back to drawing for the last two days of the challenge. I can't believe it's almost over! That went by really quickly!

art every day month, day 26.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! We spent the day with friends and had a marvelous time. I ate so much the itis set in quickly! And it was SEVERE!

I took several pictures at my friends' house. They had their Christmas decorations up, and they were very pretty.

I took a photo of some of their lighted garland, and processed it using Mill Colour, HDR Free and Photoshop Mobile.

And then, the eating commenced.

day 77: happy, happy thanksgiving.

Here are some photos I took at my friends' house, where we spent Thanksgiving.

I have to admit: this day, I cheated. I took my camera with me so I could shoot photos. I did not take my Digital Field Guide with me. After turkey, ham, deviled eggs, celery with peanut butter and cheese whiz, stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, chocolate cookies, fudge, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, pinot grigio, sweet tea, and spiced cider (yes, I had all of that), the itis had effectively taken over and when we got home and I managed to drag myself into the house, I continued said dragging straight up the stairs and into the bed.

I did not read anything or look at any images. I read the dark across my eyelids.

Yes, I cheated.

I am getting back on the horse on Black Friday.

Or is it the wagon?

I can't remember. Still got a bit of the itis, I suspect.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

day 76: happy couple.

This is my lovely Publix pilgrim couple. You can't see it in the photo, but they have happy little red smiles on their faces. Indeed, they are quite jolly and filled with glee.

Digital Field Guide: Page 69. I see now I'm gonna have to re-read these pages on exposure a few times.

Images: Matt Callow on Flickr

art every day month, day 25.

I decided last week that I would do a Thanksgiving craft with my little ones, after seeing this Thanksgiving Tree Craft on Amanda Formaro's craft blog. It was just so cute, and I thought it would be nice to do one and start a Thanksgiving family tradition.

I started out by taking two small poster board sheets and gluing them together at one end, to make one larger poster.

Then we started drawing hands. I traced my two little ones' hands, then mine. My husband did his, and my oldest did his. These would be the leaves of the tree.

I cut them out, and we wrote something for which we were thankful. My husband and I are both thankful for our family, so that's what we wrote. My oldest is thankful for his new bass guitar, my three year-old is thankful for games, and my little one who is twenty-two months old today...well, she was coloring with those markers like a fiend. So I wrote that she is thankful for coloring with markers!

Next, I gave my hubby the project of cutting out grass while I drew the tree trunk. I had to draw it because it turns out we had NO brown construction paper.

The trunk came out nice. After I cut it out I decided to watercolor the sky, since we let Natalie color on the poster with markers. I made the bottom more red/yellow/orange, to kind of look like a sunset. Ian and Natalie both took turns watercolor painting in spots. Once the whole thing was done, all that was left was to glue on the trunk, then the leaves, then the grass. After everything was glued, I folded the grass down a bit and wrote "Our Thanksgiving Family Tree" on the bottom.
I love how it came out! I taped it on the wall and will leave it there through at least the New Year. Many thanks to Amanda for the wonderful idea!

day 75: coke. classic.

On our way home from visiting friends tonight, I almost forgot that I needed to get a few things from the store. So, here I am in the store, browsing.

I didn't buy this coke. Coke makes my throat hurt. Vanilla Coke is good though.

Taken with my iPhone.

Digital Field Guide: Page 68 again. Because...yeah.

art every day month, day 24.

We went to visit with some friends and have dinner tonight. It was a lovely time, and the kidlets enjoyed themselves. Ladybug played with my iPhone as she often does (always does, actually, while Brother plays with Daddy's) and she took this picture. She already had the CameraKit app open and had managed to edit it to this, so I kept it! haha

So, it's not actually my creation; it's my twenty-one-month-old's.

Monday, November 23, 2009

day 74: what to do...

Ideas for photos are swirling through my mind on a regular basis, but at times there really isn't much of anything that I can concoct. This can be for a variety of reasons, but today I think it's just this lingering cold that has me miserable and un-motivated.

How I am cutting through blocks like that is just to keep shooting, even if it is random.

Digital Field Guide: page 68, Understanding Exposure

Images: Geoff Mock on Flickr

art every day month, day 23.

If there's one thing I love, it's beautiful skies. They just naturally look like watercolor paintings! Every time I see the sky, my mind starts wigging out over God's creativity and infinite-ness.

This iPhone photo was processed a couple of times using CameraBag. It has such a California-surfer/skater vibe.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

day 73.

Taken with my iPhone, processed with CameraBag.

We had a long day today. When we arrived home, Hubby got out of the car and my son followed him. He came around to my side of the car since I had yet to get out, and I saw his cute little face staring at me through the foggy and rainy window. I got him to remain still for a moment while I snapped this picture.

Digital Field Guide: page 67, Understanding Exposure

Images: I actually looked back over my own images from the past year, trying to select one to be the Christmas card photo.

art every day month, day 22.

We were gone all day today, doing things with family and friends. It looks like every day this week is going to be that way, save Wednesday. So, Wednesday, which is usually the day that I share a creatively-edited photo, will be the day that I actually have some time to sit and work on my drawing!

Other than Wednesday, I will take this week to play with some of my photos and share them.

This one was taken with my iPhone and I used CameraBag and PhotoPhilters to edit it.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

day 72: boring blinds.

Sometimes, I just want to shoot the ugliest or most boring thing and see if I can make it look at least somewhat moody or cool.

Taken with my iPhone and processed using Mill Colour and CameraBag.

Digital Field Guide: page 67, Exposure Essentials Intro

Images: I perused the Dropular site.

art every day month, day 21.

I have been sick since Thursday with a cold (I guess), and felt generally miserable most of the day today. I did not feel like drawing anything. I barely felt like doing anything. Thankfully, playing around on my iPhone is easy enough, even when I am feeling under the weather.

At the moment, I have a hard time deciding which one of these I like better. Thoughts?

I processed this photo using CameraBag.

Friday, November 20, 2009

day 71: buildings and lights.

Digital Field Guide: Page 64, same as yesterday.

art every day month, day 20.

I finished the watercolor, and I'm pleased with how it came out.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

art every day month, day 19.

I started on another watercolor today.

This is the third and last gift I am making for the Crafty Challenge I wrote about here and here.

This watercolor is for the daughter of a family friend from church. Her name is Caty, and she is a talented dancer. I wanted to do something that would depict her grace, youth, and beauty. It started out as just waves, but ended up becoming a flower on top. Graceful waves, youthful colors, pretty as a flower.

I'll watercolor it tomorrow.

day 70: sigh. the sky.

The sky was so beautiful this evening. But really, when is the sky not beautiful? There's even the tiny imprint of the moon above that street light.

Taken with my iPhone.

Digital Field Guide: page 64, Mirror lock-up through Auto Image Rotation. And I'll probably read it again tomorrow, because I feel like crap today and my eyes are pretty much just glossing over the page.

Images: Amy Rollo Photography (her iPhone section is way cool)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

day 69: mostly fog.

The fog was thick this morning.

Taken with my iPhone.

Digital Field Guide: page 64, Folders and File no. sequence

Images: Joel Zimmer on Flickr

art every day month, day 18.

Crazy Wednesday again! Here's some iPhone app fun.