Friday, February 27, 2009

Day Fifty-Eight: They've Arrived

Everyone is together, finally, tonight. My son, daughter-in-law and my grandson Sam and granddaughter Annalee arrived in Iowa tonight.

I couldn't get a good picture of the 4 of them, so for tonight I'm using a picture of Josie and Annalee unwrapping presents.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Day Fifty-Seven: Bath Night

It was taco night, and Daddy made his famous tacos. Then Mommy went to get her hair cut, Daddy cleaned up in the kitchen, and Grammy gave baths. It was a wonderful night.

Day Fifty-Six: Back in Iowa

My son and his family are coming down to Iowa to visit my daughter and family. The thought of being "stuck" in one house for a couple of days with my 4 grandchilden is the best birthday present I could get.

I drove down yesterday because there is a big storm coming, and I didn't want to drive in bad weather. My son and family will come tomorrow night, hopefully after the "weather" has passed.

I got here last night and my photo is of the two of them ready for bed. My crazy little Max had to put on his 2 new sunglasses and summer hat.....they are going on a cruise, and summer clothes are coming in to the house. Max loves his "accessories".

I merged 2 pictures together.....because Josie was just getting over being sick, and in most photos she still looked sick. Well, looking at this picture she still looks sick!

So this is a "Welcome to Iowa from Josie and Max".......and the best was, my daughter called me 3 times while I was driving in to find out how close I was because they couldn't wait. Oh, the joy of grandchildren!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Day Fifty-Five: Happy Birthday to Me!

I posted my Day Fifty-Five, by mistake, under my Day Fifty-Four. What can I say, I'm a day older and a day more confused!
See below.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Day Fifty-Four: Projects

This has been on our dining room table (along with my dh's tax info), and I'm trying to decide what I'm going to frame, and where I'm going to hang it all. This will probably be an on-going project for a while.

Day Fifty-Five: Happy Birthday

My birthday, February 24th.

Your Birthday Predicts You're Nurturing
Ever since you were born, you've loved being a caretaker.Whether you're caring for people or animals, you love making others feel good.You don't stress or worry much in your life. You think it's important not to sweat the small stuff.You have a soft spot in your heart for children and pets. You are drawn to anyone in need.

You are totally loyal, faithful, and honest.However, you don't trust others to be as ethical as you are!Straight forward and direct, you really aren't one for small talk.You are a great listener - and an agreeable companion when you're in a good mood!You are most compatible with a Tiger or Horse.

Your Rising Sign
You are confident, self-assured, and more than a little vain.And you have a flair for the dramatic - whether you're on stage or causing trouble.Your spirit can't stay in one place very long.You like to live in new places and travel the world.Cultured and sophisticated, you pride yourself on having good taste.You are an expert in art, music, food, and film.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Day Fifty-Three: The Cold and a Thank You

Today happened to be a really beautiful day in Minnesota. The sun was shining, and it wasn't that cold (if you live in Minnesota!). I live in a suburb west of Minneapolis, and starting just a few miles from me and spanning for many suburbs and small towns west of me, is a beautiful lake.... Lake Minnetonka. In the summer the lake is filled with speed boats, luxury yachts, sailboats, and other watercraft.
In the winter, it is miles of ice and snow. That's when ice-fishing houses come out, trucks and cars riding on the ice, and snowmobilers on the lake.
For me, I'd rather be in my toasty warm house reading or playing with Photoshop. So today, when we were out, my dh stopped so I could take a picture of the ice houses, etc. Then I went home and played around with it on Photoshop....because it just looked too cold and barren for me!

And, a thank you for the tutorial today from Mily Photography. Though I have a long way to go, it was so much fun to play with my new-found tools. I used my granddaughter Josie's picture I took a few weeks ago to play with. Since I didn't take the photo today, I felt I shouldn't count it as today's picture.

I love our wonderful community and the sharing that goes on. Thank you.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Day Fifty-Two: Color

Today was a very laid-back day. So, I again, looked around the house for something I wanted to document for my life.
I love my artwork. This is another one by my friend and artist, Burton Morris. It is an oil about 6 feet long in the loft. It is visible from the living room, from my chair. It is another piece of my colorful world that makes me happy.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Day Fifty-One: Cramming

My birthday is next week, and my daughter told me she is buying me the upgrade for PS CS4. I decided to get a jump on the program, so I went to my local Borders. (It helped that I had a 40% discount for 2 days at Borders).

Bookstores happen to be one of my favorite haunts. I found a bench right by the window to look over some books. I took a pile of all the CS4 books to the bench, put on my reading glasses and looked over all the books. I found one I think I will like, and now I'm ready to start cramming for my new program!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Day Fifty: Oompa Loompa

My dil is a choreographer as an avocation. This weekend she is doing Willy Wonka. Here she and my grandson and granddaughter are practicing the moves!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Day Forty-Nine: Miss Spider and Friend

These stools sit in my living room. They are children's stools based on the David Kirk's books on Miss Spider. I bought them at Target probably 6-7 years ago, when my first grandchild was 1 or so. All the kids love them, and still sit on them.

I expect that someday the kids will be too big for them. However, I'm pretty sure I will never be too "big" to keep them in my living room!
And to all my friends who leave me comments on my photos, I just want to let you know how much it means to me. I check in a couple of times a day, most days, to see if I have any comments, and to leave love notes to anyone whose posts are new to me. Thanks to all of you.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Day Forty-Eight: Fun with Curves

Today I went to my CPA. Since that was the most exciting part of my day, I was going to take a picture of his office.....but along the way, I found some interesting buildings. I wondered if people were watching me, wondering why I would pull the car over and was photographing random buildings in this small town/suburb! I felt like I was stalking someone!

The picture on the left is the house straight out of the camera. But I can't leave well enough alone. So playing with curves in Photoshop, I redid the house.....from one in Minnesota, to perhaps one in the Florida Keys!

Love experimenting.....and going to the limits.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Day Forty-Seven: Convention Grill

I met my girlfriend today for lunch at a favorite restaurant, The Convention Grill. It's like an old time diner, with hamburgers and malts.
So I decided to play with the photos I took. I liked this one. I played around with curves, until I got the look I like. I got some other really cool looks, but this seemed to suit the theme of the 50's. I think it looks very retro, like maybe a 50's postcard.
Hope you like it.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Day Forty-Six: Sleepover

Last night my grandson slept over. This morning, bright and early, he was on my computer on his new fun website.

What I love about this photo, is that behind him on the wall are pictures of him when he was 1!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Day Forty-Four: Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone. I hope everyone has a love-filled, happy day.
My day started out this morning coming down to make my coffee. And, as usual, my dh had a card waiting for me at the coffee machine. He is such a sweetie, and always remembers. (I of course, had to move the card and open it. Then make my coffee. Then take a picture!)
I did not forget it was Valentine's Day today. But, as usual, I was too lazy to get a card for my dh. So, this morning (in my defense, I decided to do this last night.....well, I decided, I didn't do it), I went downstairs, cut out the heart, wrote on it, and had one of the dolls hold it. I put it on the sofa in the living room so he would see it!
I know, very very lame. Especially, since he is not crazy about the say the least....and so they are way downstairs usually. I had to bring it up, and put it in his face this morning.

I did, however, plan ahead for the grandkids. I made 4 paper bag books, titled "8 Reasons We Love You". I sent two of them the other day to Josie and Max in Iowa. Tonight I will bring these two for Sam and Annalee when we go over for pizza.
It's so much fun to have this private diary so no one but me knows how lazy I can be.
So I'm now locking this diary so no one can read it!!! More tomorrow, dear diary.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Day Forty-Three: Bee Bear

I must be in a strange mood. Or burned out. Or tired. Or at a low point in the month. Or.....

Anyway, the day before Valentine's Day, I took a picture of a stuffed animal I have that I call Bee Bear. My granddaughter Annalee kind of adopted him. He wears heart antenaes.

So I wish all of you a Happy Valentine's Day, and Bee happy!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Day Forty-Two: A New Action

Annie Manning from Paint the Moon had said on her blog a few days ago, that she was coming out with new actions. She teased with great photos of her little girl, and I have been watching for them since she had talked about them.

Today they were out at Oscraps. I downloaded them this morning at about 5 in the morning, and immediately played with them.

I had taken a photo of my granddaughter the other day, and I used it to try different actions. That was going to be my photo of the day.....well, photo comparison.

But my friend came over today with her two little ones. I got a picture of her holding her little 22-month old son, looking at the 2 month old baby and loved the expression on her face as she sees her little one looking down.

So I decided to use the new black and white action from Annie's actions for this picture. I liked the black and white because it shows off the emotion. And I love this black and white action.

Maybe tomorrow I'll use different actions from the same package.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Day Forty-One: Another Rainy Day

Another rainy day in the middle of our winter. What a funny concept. I went out for more architectural pictures, but decided to take a picture where I could stay out of the rain.

Again, I was playing with post-processing. The action is called "old photo".

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Day Forty: Our Fire Station

Today, I really wanted some architectural shots. Unfortunately, it was raining (unusual for Minnesota in February) so it would be hard to walk around taking pictures. I'll save that for another day.

I went with my husband to visit his father, then he drove me to the library to return some books. I warned him that I intended to take pictures of the library as I was returning the books (I told you he thinks my picture-taking is obsessive, so I felt he needed warning!).

When I got back in the car, he suggested the fire station in the same parking lot! I think he's beginning to like my newest obsession!!!!

Anyway......I am into playing with curves, sharpening, what was a nice photo, became artsy. Obviously, a far cry from reality.

This is so fun!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Day Thirty-Nine: Experimenting with Actions

This is a photo from yesterday of my grandson Sam that I really liked. I was playing around today with actions, and really loved the way this came I'm using this photo.

It is a retro action from Acerbus.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Day Thirty-Eight: FunDay

Tonight we went to my son's for dinner. He was really the only one in our family who liked to cook when he was growing up. And now, all of a sudden, he has really thrown himself into it. He made us Thai Noodles, Shrimp with Lobster Sauce, Mango Sticky rice for dessert and Thai beef jerky! It was amazing.

While he cooked, my husband watched the ProBowl football game (my son also watched from the kitchen), my daughter-in-law rested after spending the day choreographing a play and I got to play with my grandson Sam, 8, and my granddaughter Annalee, 6.

As you can see, fun was had it was Funday, not Sunday!

I've Been Tagged

Thanks, Biancka.....

The rules are link back to who tagged me (Biancka), and list 6 things about me. Ugh. Thanks, Sweetie (hopefully, they don't have to be interesting things!)

1.I have ADD (attention deficit disorder), and flit from one thing to another. But somehow, I always come back to photography in one form or another. (Including a dark room of my own years ago). I only found out I had this in the last 10 certainly explained alot to me.

2. I have 2 children ..... a girl and a boy....and they each have 2 children.....a girl and a boy. And they all call me "Goofy". I don't know

3. I have written 3 books, 2 on rubber stamping, and 1 on scrapbooking.......and now I want nothing to do with either of those things....except digital scrapbooking (I told you I jump from one thing to another).

4. I love bright colors, fun things including toys and dolls, and odd, out of place things (like in the Bahamas once, among the charming stores and cobblestone roads was a McDonalds....I had to take a picture.....and that is what I remember most).

5. I think I'm introverted and extroverted......I'm happiest around people, and I'm happiest home alone with my computer......go figure.

6.Biancka said she had more virtual friends than real life friends.....and just last night when my husband was looking at my blog, he wanted to know who all these people were.....I said they were my virtual friends, and was very popular in "outer space".....I do love you guys.

And now to tag 5 others:






Thanks again to Biancka, and all my friends in this great challenge. I am learning so much from all of you!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Day Thirty - Seven: Reality or Art or Neither?

Am I losing touch with reality?
I went with my dh today to visit his father in the nursing home. My father-in-law is 94, and just came back from the hospital after surgery. He is an amazing man.....he is sharp as a tack. And he just keeps bouncing back from health issues.

I told my dh that I wanted to take pictures if Ty was up to it. I had even imagined him sitting in his chair near a window with the light coming thru.

I was thrilled when there he was in his chair by the window near the blinds.....just as I had imagined for some great pictures.

Even tho' he was in pain, he was thrilled I was taking pictures.

When I got home, I processed the pictures in Photoshop and then printed out pictures of my husband and his father in bw and color. I was so proud. I showed him the pictures I had printed out in 5x7. He said:

"Well, these didn't come out very good, did they?"

Friday, February 6, 2009

Day Thirty-Seven: My Trial

Well, I consider this day a Photoshop trial day. I love the look of Mily's ethereal look to her photos. So I decided to take a random photo of my granddaughter from the other day (a cheat but I needed a subject for this trial, and so today's photo is from Sunday!).

Using curves and levels and making the photo black and white, etc. I came as close as I could. I am learning so much from looking at all of your photos, and having a really fun time trying different techniques.

Thanks to everyone who is participating in this great challenge.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Day Thirty-Six: Just Ducky

I was busy all day, running around, doing some designing. So I ran around the house just now, taking pictures of everything I could find. My husband said he's waiting to see a photography show by me of household objects at the Walker Art Museum here!

Anyway.....I wasn't very inspired, I'm much too tired.

So, our upstairs bathroom is my "ducky" bathroom for the grandkids....this is not a flying duck. The duck is on the bathtub faucet.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Day Thirty-Five: A New Me

I feel much better today as I had been needing a haircut for quite a while. My husband wanted me to grow my hair, so I put off a haircut til I could no longer take it. My daughter seemed to like my hair too, but enough was enough.

I took a picture of me today after the haircut. When I get it cut, I get it blown out. But once I have to do it myself, I let it go curly. So this will look like this until I wake up tomorrow morning. Sometimes I can stretch it out another day, depending on how I sleep!!
It's nice to feel human again.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Day Thirty-Four: White Balance Test

Since I am baby-less, I decided today to try a white balance test. Jodi Friedman of MCPActions has a great blog. She passes along many tips among other things.

One item was a cheap (read that as zero cost) white balance tool. Take a clear top from a Pringles potato chip can. Trace the circle on a coffee filter, and cut out the circle. Tape it to the lid. Then hold it up in front of your lens, so it fills the picture space. Shoot the picture and set a custom white balance.

The first pictures I took was of a doll I have (if anyone is a doll collector, it is by Annette Himstedt......and I collected her dolls that I love til I finally got grandchildren!). Picture 1 is AWB (automatic white balance), the second was Custom White Balance. I can definitely tell the difference between the 2 pictures.

The second 2 photos are part of an oil painting by my very favorite artist, Burton Morris. I tried to include part of our white wall. I can see the difference in the whites, but it's not such a big difference.

What do you think?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Day Thirty-Three: Goodbye

Max is well, and it's back to normal. They were off to school (pre-school and kindergarten), and I was going home. Very sad to leave them, but at least the ride home was uneventful.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Day 32: Cheer

Yesterday, Josie went to a 6-hour cheerleading clinic. It was put on by the Girl Scouts and UNI (University of Northern Iowa). Today they did their cheerleading at half-time at the girl's basketball game.

Of course, my camera was trained on my little Josie.....who did such a great job. She was in the first group, which was the kindergarteners.