Wednesday, December 22, 2010

From Our House To Yours

This year I decided that I wanted our holiday cards to be simpler than last year's or the year before and I accomplished that - kind of. I don't do too well with simple but at least they didn't get in the mail at the very last minute, in fact they went in the mail last week and would have been sent earlier if I had stamps. I know some of you get them sent out right after Thanksgiving but I need a little bit more time to get into the Christmas spirit and get my creative mojo going.

Once I figured out my design concept, I began working on a sample and then cut all of the pieces so that I could work on them in an assembly line. That approach makes assembling each card go so much faster than if you cut them one by one. You get a rhythm which makes it much more enjoyable and decreases the number of errors that can occur. Yes it's a lot of work but I want those that receive them to know that I poured my heart into them. Also I like being that holiday card in the stack that is a little different from all of the others that they receive.

From our house to yours - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Supplies Used:
  • Stamps: From Our House to Yours
  • Paper: real red, shimmer white, whisper white, soft suede, vellum
  • Ink: soft suede, real red (heart)
  • Other: red ribbon, oval punch, square punch (window), snowflake embossing folder, big shot, scallop edge punch, merry sizzlets

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A new addition to the Family?

We are very excited and while it's not finalized, I still can't wait to share the news with everyone. Tanner may soon have a sister to keep him company when we are away! We have been looking to rescue a dog similar to Tanner for quite a while and we found Carmen while searching the web and it was love at first site. Carmen is a 7 year old Maltese and is a puppy mill dog who has not had any human contact until recently. Her foster mom had nothing but good things to say about her progress and we think her personality will be a perfect match for Tanner. We get to meet her tomorrow and see how the two of them do together. Because Carmen hasn't had human contact until her rescue, she's skittish and is working on trusting others. She has shown no aggressive behavior but rather gets scared if you move too quickly towards her or try to pet her. We know it's a big job and will require a lot of patience but we are up for the challenge. When we got Tanner 6 1/2 years ago, we got him from a pet store because we didn't know any better. Thanks to Oprah and the many stories she has done on puppy mills, we have vowed to only rescue. I'll keep you posted on how the visit goes tomorrow.

P.S. We are likely going to change her name to something different after finding out that Carmen meant "drama queen". We have 7 names on the list at this point but I'm hopeful we can widdle that down once we meet her in person.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sweet Bokeh Baby

For the last week I've been following Darcy's 31 Days to Better Photos and I am starting to have a couple of "aha" moments. Being able to get these bokeh shots was one of those moments but I have to thank Amanda & Kevin for their bokeh tutorial - it's awesome. I shot this in very poor light and all manually! Yup, I adjusted the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture! I'm feeling proud but even prouder of the cutest dog ever - Tanner who was very cooperative during my 45 minute photo shoot. It's amazing what he'll do when I bribe him with treats. After I captured this shot I rejoiced by yelling "SWEET" - I really was proud.

Canon 50mm
f/1.8, 1/40s, 1600 ISO
 Isn't he the sweetest? He really is and I love how it captured that here.
 A couple more to show off the Tanner man.
 f/22, 1.3s, 1600
 Having a little fun with a slow shutter speed and moving the camera in different directions while capturing the picture. I thought it was fun playing a little bit.

Linking up to:

boken party at


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Playing with Shutter Speed

Last week I began Darcy's 31 Days to Better Pictures series and Saturday was day 3 which was all about shutter speed. I always shoot in aperture priority so this was definitely a learning experience. I really struggle with getting shots with just the right light so I'm excited that I've learned a lot in a short amount of time. The assignment was to keep the aperture and ISO the same but adjust the shutter speed. In order to do this I had to shoot in manual and I really liked that I could see if it was over or underexposed - this was HUGE for me, it's really this easy? Yeah right - it makes sense but doesn't always turn out the way I want so I think I'll keep going with the next 28 days.....

1/4s - overexposed
 1/8s - just right
 1/15s - underexposed

How is everyone else doing with the 31 day challenge? Gotta get to work on day 4 - ISO and then 5 and 6 are all about aperture - my favorite!

Curious about the handmade poinsettia pillows? Stay tuned for details on how I made these myself.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

You Capture - Kindred

Kindred - A group of related persons, as a clan or tribe
A person's relatives; kinfolk

This week's You Capture subject over at I Should be Folding Laundry is "kindred". As soon as I heard the subject, I knew I wanted to capture the twins that live next door and their special bond that they share. I've photographed them before, and this time I went along with the family to a Christmas tree farm to capture some shots for their Christmas cards. We always put up an artificial tree so this was a special treat for me and I appreciate them making me part of the clan for the afternoon.

 The clan looking for the perfect Christmas tree.
 The twins found the perfect tree and posed for me - can't you see the bond between them?
 And a hug to show it too...
 A little hot chocolate to warm us up.
 Working on a wood building project.

One last picture on the sleigh. Aren't they adorable?

The sun was a little harsh and I'm still getting acquainted with my new camera but I got a few pictures. I may "borrow" the twins for a bit this weekend - I'm determined to get a better shot with both of them looking at the camera and smiling at the same time! Any pointers? I am better at candid than posed shots.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New Camera - New Journey

Santa came early this year and gave me a new SLR camera body. I just upgraded from the Canon Rebel to the Canon 40d and am learning that it's a lot different than the Rebel I've been shooting with for over 4 years. I normally shoot in Aperture priority but I'm determined to go completely manual and actually know what I'm doing when I adjust the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. I may even live a bit dangerously and shift from all white balance to custom white balances on occasion. To help with the learning curve of my new camera, I've decided to follow Darcy's 31 days to better photos series. Darcy is a blogger at my 3 boybarians and is a photographer from Iowa that has a teaching style that makes it easy for anyone to use their camera to the fullest. I thought being the 1st day in December, it was the perfect time to start this challenge and I'd love if you joined me.