Sunday, February 27, 2011

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Sunday's used to be a day of lounging around and getting errands done for the upcoming week but since I've begun participating in Ashley's Scavenger Hunt Sunday challenge, it has another special meaning to me. When you really dive into photography you begin to see the world from a different perspective and the beauty that lies within all things. I love that participating in a challenge forces you to photograph things that you wouldn't normally capture. This week was no exception, another great challenge.

Capture the Sky
This was a bit tricky because Friday was the only day that I actually saw clouds and was able to shoot during daylight. Shooting a boring sky with no clouds wasn't what I wanted to go for so I was happy to see a few hours of clouds. I did edit this picture a bit to bring out the contrast a bit more which I usually don't do because I love SOOC. This is a sign that spring is on its way.

Everyday I get to love my hubby and since unfortunately the dogs usually steal the spotlight, while we were driving to a movie I took the opportunity to snap a picture of him. A second after I snapped this picture I bumped my head which left a nice size goose egg on my head. Oh the things we do to get a shot.
I was excited to see the furry prompt and knew I had two fluffy babies to use for this. In fact Tanner just got groomed and his coat was extra shiny. I decided to shoot this from a different perspective and I hope you like it. He is the cutest dog ever isn't he?!?!
 Signs of New Life
I walked around our lake and the neighborhood on Friday afternoon looking for new signs of life but all I could find was lots of snow and a few ice fishermen fishing on the lake. Being in the Midwest, I'm sad to say that it was hard to find signs of new life or signs that spring is on its way. I did however notice that my houseplants were thriving - that's a sign, right? OK it's a stretch but I tried really hard, really I did. 

I had a lot of bokeh and motion ideas in my head but I decided to put a lazy susan to work and a bowl of jellybeans. It was fun playing around with shutter speed and noticed I got the effect I was looking for with the help of my extension tubes - I love those babies. Funny thing is that the jellybeans were all the colors of the rainbow but all you really see is the yellow and orange ones when I spin the bowl. Does anyone know why that is? I ate most of the red one's but there were plenty of green and purple ones that aren't showing up.

Linking up to Scavenger Hunt Sunday.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Stella Update - 2 months

Two months ago today we adopted Stella into our family and she is making a lot of progress. She has had a lot of firsts in the past 2 months and she has taken it all in stride. The last update I wrote about Stella was at two weeks and slowly but surely she has made even more progress.

New Experiences:
  • Bath Time - after a nice long walk we also discovered how dirty her white coat becomes especially since she is so low to the ground. We are not looking forward to all of the snow melting.
  • Grooming - her first day at the spa didn't go as well as I would have liked. She had a hard time standing so cutting her fur on her belly and face was a challenge and unfortunately it shows. They cut too much of her fur off and I can't wait for it to grow back. At least her stained fur is gone now for the most part. Her hair is so short that Mama can't put bows in it - was that on purpose David?
  • Teeth Cleaning - we were ecstatic to get her teeth cleaned because her dental health was in poor condition. She did very well but unfortunately had to have another tooth removed so now she has 4 less teeth than she started with. But at least her breath is fresh!
  • She loves her name and when you call her name she will come to you and sniff your hand- Yeah!
  • Stella experienced her first blizzard on February 1st and doesn't want to experience that again. It was a day that she chose to go potty inside the house instead of outside despite us making a special place for them. Can you blame her? The 4 feet drifts would have been too much for me too.
  • Stella also got to finally meet some family. She loved both of her Grandma's and her Grandpa too. She'll soon realize how much they will spoil her when they watch the dogs for us.
Making Progress:
  • She still doesn't like being handled but at least she isn't shaking as much as she used to. This is going to take a long time but I really wish she would stop digging her nails into you. We call it the Def com 5 death grip - it's unreal and has left me with many scratches on my chest.
  • She still won't go down the stairs inside the house so it's a challenge to chase after her so we can take her downstairs with the rest of the family. Thank goodness our neighbors let us borrow their baby gate, it sure comes in handy.
 Stella - 1 week after her haircut
Look at that face - I love how it highlights her eyes. 
A quick shot after I brushed her fur.
Last but not least, a picture of Snaggletooth! She was actually licking her fur around her mouth and yawning but I captured her at just the right moment to show a couple of her missing teeth. She looks mean in this picture but she's really the sweetest thing. Mama had to embarrass her with this funny picture. Please forgive me Stella!

P.S. This is my 300th post and love that it features our baby Stella.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

You Capture - The Letter "L"

This week's You Capture assignment I thought would be really easy but turned out that it was more difficult than I thought. It was anything with the letter "L". Easy right? Well I ran out of creativity until I thought about my favorite candy - Lifesavers! Instead of coming up with a bunch of different "L" shots, I decided to just shoot Lifesavers at lots of different angles. Well actually I tried shooting Lemonheads but let's just say those didn't turn out at all.

The best part? I got to eat them afterwards! Can't wait to see what Ashley comes up with next week. I think I like the harder prompts so let's see what it is.

Linking Up to:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I know I was a bit of a slacker and didn't get around to participating in Scavenger Hunt Sunday but today I am and I'm excited. While Stella was getting groomed (more about that later), I had some peace and quiet in the house on Saturday morning and decided to step up to the challenge and start snapping away. It was a lot of fun and at first I thought the list was challenging but it turned out to be really fun and inspiring. I'm looking forward to participating in many more in the future but here's this week's.

  1. Chocolate - I honestly don't like chocolate and the only thing I could find in the house was white chocolate morsels. I put them on the counter and started snapping away and I loved the reflection I was getting on the counter.

2.   Numbers - this was a toss up for me between my number stamps and a road sign but this one won out. Stamping is another hobby of mine and these came to mind right away when I started looking around my scraproom.
 3.    Canned Food - not only a great challenge but also enabled me to clean out our pantry. Isn't multi-tasking the best? Turns out these cans were all past their "best used by" date. Off with the labels because I loved the shine and the lines the cans had on them. When the hubby saw the labels removed he got a bit worried but I told him they were getting tossed anyways.
 4.   Music - On Saturday I went with my husband and his family into the city to see "Million Dollar Quartet" which was a musical and a chance for me to snap some pictures in the lobby. I got in trouble trying to take pictures of the stage from my seat of the instruments before the show started- arrghhh!! It wasn't anything special but they threatened to erase my pictures which wasn't going to happen but I'm doing the right thing and not posting those pictures. Instead I wanted to showcase this artist's painting. Isn't it fun?
 5.   Stack - I have stacks of laundry, books, and magazines around the house but I wanted to go for something a bit more colorful plus who wants to see my underwear anyways. After exploring my scraproom again, I came across my beloved markers and started shooting my "stack of markers". OK it's a bit of stretch but I like how it turned out.

Thanks Ashley for hosting another great photo challenge, I'm loving it!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

You Capture - Cold

This week's You Capture challenge is very fitting - it's Cold and that it is! When I think of cold all I think of these days is snow and icicles. Given that I've posted plenty of snow pictures lately I thought it would be best to focus on the many icicles hanging from the rooftop these days.

 Does that icicle so burrrr or what?
Did you notice the water dripping from it? That's what I worked hard to capture.
 Then when I looked into my tree in the front yard I was reminded of how cold it must be for the birds and other animals just trying to stay warm. The bird house looks rather chilly to me.

Last but not least, what's a "cold" capture without a bit more snow? At least it's from a different perspective.

Linking Up to:

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

In an effort to improve my photography skills over the winter, I thought it would be fun to participate in another photography challenge. Ashley over at Ramblings and Photos has a weekly photography challenge where you are given a list of 5 items to shoot throughout the week and then you post them on Sunday through her Scavenger Hunt Sunday challenge. After seeing my friend Brooke over at My [Boys]terous Life participate, I thought why not. So here it goes.......

1 - Water
Yes it's really snow but it's made from water and I love the cool wave look it has to it.

2 - Quote
Right out of my favorite magazine Scrapbooks, Etc.
3 - Window
In all honesty this is a picture pulled from the archives but I love the reflection of the light from the blinds and the window bouncing onto the cabinets.
4 - Activity
Playing in the snow of course!
5 - Page 25 of a Magazine
Once again from my favorite magazine Scrapbooks, Etc.
I spent all of last weekend scrapbooking and flipping through my magazines for inspiration.

Linking Up to:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

You Capture - Red

With the "Blizzard of 2011" hitting the area on Tuesday and Wednesday, finding red amongst the 2 feet of white snow was a bit challenging but fun. I went on a walk around the neighborhood with my neighbor to enjoy the beauty of all of the snow drifts and found red peeking out just screaming for me to take a picture. During our walk we saw 2 cars get stuck and a snowmobile. Luckily we are nice neighbors and all pitched in to help them. The County roads were shut down to all vehicles except for emergency vehicles but some just don't listen to those warnings. It's unfortunate because while the cars were stuck, the plows were trying to plow our roads and this was just causing them to have to sit and wait for them to get out of the way. I'm a rule follower and unless I was dying, I wasn't going anywhere! I hope you enjoy my red captures.

 A red fire hydrant buried in snow. I hope the fire department doesn't need to use it.
 My hubby having a little fun in the snow.
On the deck my planters still had my 4th of July flags sticking out. It's amazing how long that plant survived.
Last but not least, my red shovel sticking out from the very deep snow next to our back door. We keep it there so we can shovel for the dogs but this was going to take a bit more than shoveling, we had to dig ourselves out of the snow!

Linking up to:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Blizzard of 2011

The Midwest was slammed by a blizzard otherwise known as "the blizzard of 2011" and it didn't miss us in the Chicagoland area. It's hard to tell how much we got but it's around 18-20 inches with some very high drifts. Our backyard took the most beating from the storm with 4 to 5 foot drifts against our patio door and all around the deck. Tanner and Stella were very confused in the morning when we were scrambling trying to figure out where to start digging a place for them to go outside. Despite how much we hate snow, there actually was quite a bit of excitement in the house and around the neighborhood. We may never see snow like this again so might as well make the most of it!

David digging a spot in front the garage for the dogs. See how deep the snow is?
 We live in a split level home and the drifts along the side of the house looked like a wave from the ocean. I thought it was a cool view to capture through the window.
 In the winter we leave a shovel near the back door so we can shovel for the dogs when necessary. Look at how buried the shovel became overnight! This is after we shoveled 5 times the night before.
 Our front steps are buried - it may stay this way for a while. Guests can come through the garage in the meantime.

 A cool shot of the snow on the roof. I like how it looks like a wave from the wind.
 Me helping to shovel out a good spot for the dogs.
 David lending a helping hand too.
 David taking a break and rolling around in the snow.
 My cute neighbor having an absolute ball in all of the snow. They kept losing their boots in the deep snow but it didn't stop them from having fun. She loves posing for the camera for me.
My neighbors front steps are worst than ours. Her she is again posing.

We hope that everyone else is safe and sound from the blizzard. We know someone who got stranded from driving into a snow drift and was stuck for 24 hours. Just glad I wasn't one of those stuck on Lake Shore Drive all night long. I have a fear of that happening so I left work plenty early on Tuesday and then worked the rest of the day from the safety of my home.

P.S. So glad that the groundhog didn't see his shadow!