Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Totally Rad Sale!!!

I have exciting news...Totally Rad is having a sale. 2 days only. I purchased their RadLab Photoshop plugin a year and a half ago and LOVE it. The filters are adjustable and layerable. You can use them to correct color, exposure, etc and there are a ton of different options for artistic effects as well. Go subtle or go all out, you can choose. I have never regretted buying these and use them frequently when editing my photos sessions.

What?, you've cut way back on your Photoshop time and are spending more time in Lightroom? Don't worry they have presets for Lightroom as well. I'm just amping up my Lightroom editing skills so haven't worked with them yet but they look pretty darn fun.

You can save 25% off when you use the code TOTALLYRAD25. Check them out!

Gallery Showing

Do you every wonder what you should do with all those masterpieces brought home from school by the your little creative geniuses?
Now, back in the day, I was all about scrapbooking them (or if they were large--scanning them into a smaller size and then scrapbooking the copies). However, I have fallen off the wagon and recently came upon a large pile of artwork.
Ken had recently mentioned that he thought we needed something in our empty, plain downstairs hallway. The discovery prompted me to reflect back on a gallery style display using curtain rods I once saw on Pinterest. Perhaps they used towel bars, I don't remember exactly. I happened to have curtain rods on hand so that's what I used.
I love when a project comes together and I spent less than $10.
I chose to offset my two curtain rods and used curtain rings with small clips on them so we can change out the art as new works come home. I had a few hangers already but picked up a second pack at Target.
Anique and I finished this project in under a half an hour. We used a level to ensure our the curtain rods were hung straight. She held one end while I screwed in the first side and then held the level to make sure it was straight when I put the second side up. Then repeat for the next curtain rod.
You want to make sure you allow enough space between the two curtain rods to hang your artwork. I placed mine approximately 18 inches apart.
We went through the pile of art work and chose our favorites and voila! an instant art gallery. The best part is it is super easy to change out pieces as new ones come home. Since last week, the heart has been replaced by a snowman piece.

Quietly Providing Beauty

Just dropping in briefly for Texture Tuesday. Textured with Kim Klassen's Cora.
Have a beautiful day and savor the quiet moments while they last.  

Monday, February 24, 2014

Coming September 2014

I was so excited when this mama asked me to take the photos for their pregnancy announcement. They are the cutest family ever. Their little boy is so well-spoken and well-mannered. Yes, he can have moments where he doesn't want to do something but he's too stinkin cute. I'm sure this has everything to do with his sweet, even-tempered parents. He's a lucky kid!
We found a window without rain and took a few outdoor shots but it was windy and cold. They were gracious enough to let me play with the new indoor studio set up and we got a few family and couple shots as well. Aren't they a beautiful family?
Coming September 2014 they will be just a wee bit bigger...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Spreading Light

I textured this using Kim Klassen's Confusion which seemed appropriate.

I stayed up super late on Sunday night, knowing I could sleep in on Monday. This is a treat since up until recently only the really big holidays were observed.

So, at 7:30 am when I heard the front door open (I was still in bed) I was a bit confused on who was coming in. Did Ken come home early so he could hang out with us too? Did Bailey come home early from his friend's house where he had his sleepover?

Umm, no. It was my mom who had forgotten that there was no school on President's Day. Did she forget or did I forget to tell her? Not really sure. Needless to say, she was there. Anique and I were both still in bed. Having had her morning coffee, she was light years ahead of either of us in the perkiness department. I'm pretty sure I carried my side of the conversation with slurred monosyllabic answers for the first 10 minutes or so.

After a bit we decided to hold an impromptu photo session downstairs. I had been wanting to practice bokeh and I had a willing victim. Obviously, I need some more work on my bokeh, but we had fun. My mom and Anique got silly with props and funny faces. And by 9:30 am my mom headed out and off to her next errand. Spreading light and joy as she went...

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Manual Mode Practice

I've been practicing with Manual mode on my camera. I typically shoot in either portrait mode or aperture mode.

I bribed Anique to come downstairs for a few practice photos (it only cost me a quarter and a granola bar). She was still in her pajamas and more interested in making funny faces and wiggling than posing but hey at least my photos didn't come out completely dark.

These were taken at ISO 400, 1/15 sec @ f/ 5.0

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lucky in Love

Texture: Kim Klassen's Violet
I've shared a little bit in the past about my struggle with the winter blues. February finds me weepy and with reduced coping skills. The little things can send me into tears.
This weekend I had a huge project I wanted to make a dent in. I had a plan for what I wanted to get accomplished. But as most weekends are, it was busy and I really didn't get a chance to start until Sunday.
After most of the day spent on the project, I was nowhere near where I had envisioned it being. The whole area seemed messier than it was originally. Ken came down and pulled me back upstairs as I was in mini-meltdown mode. He put on a movie, tucked me in and helped me to settle.
I came home the next day to a sweet card reminding me to hang in there and some sweet treats. I truly am a lucky girl! He helps me get through every winter when the rational side of me is wondering what the heck is happening to my emotional equilibrium. I'm not sure how he puts up with my crazy side but I'm sure glad he does!
I photographed the couple above this past fall. It was definitely one of my favorite sessions this year.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Mother & Son Bond

This little guy is almost one year old. His mother totally adores him. He was so good during the photo shoot. No fussing, no crying. His mom and the family friends that were there completely adored him. And they were the best photo assistants ever.

Friday, February 7, 2014

It's the Little Things

Tonight I am grateful for having the hot water tank to myself. A hot shower with no interruptions.  Now cozy on the couch with a book. Heaven!

That's it. The end. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Parents are Human Too

I read this post and could completely relate. I think that many parents can relate to the sense of failure that sometimes overtakes us.

I know there are times I look back and think I should have spent more time with one child, listened more patiently to another, the feeling that time is passing by too quickly and I'm not using it wisely. What if I didn't teach them the right values? Am I sharing the skills that will help them to be strong, compassionate, and capable adults?

I think that it's easy to forget that as parents: We are are human. We are doing the best we can. We try to be super heroes for our children and perpetuate the myth that we know everything and have all the answers.

I don't know about you, but I don't have all the answers.

And guess what? Our parents didn't have all the answers either. When I look back though, I can see how hard my mom worked at parenting. How much she wanted to get it just right despite obstacles.

Sadly, time is often the best way of gaining perspective. It's much harder when you are in the midst of the journey.

My thoughts: If you weren't trying to do your best, you wouldn't be so worried about whether or not you were doing it right. The only option is to learn from your mistakes and keep moving forward. A wise parenting coach I once knew lived by the following mantra: Safety and Health are the priorities, everything else is negotiable (or something to that effect).

Yep, sometimes we will mess up. We will fumble a situation. But never let them forget you love them. It's really the most important part of our job.

Oh and the pictures below, remember the part about safety? Well, this is my children hurtling down the side of a mountain. Clearly, I'm a work in progress...


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Remnants of Christmas - Texture Tuesday

Just dropping in to share a photo for Texture Tuesday. I will post more soon.

I used Isobel and Sybil for this one.

We spent the weekend after Christmas up near Leavenworth and made a few trips to town. The town was all decked out in its Christmas finery. Garlands of pine and ornaments were everywhere. Even without the snow, it was still pretty.