Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Out with the Old...

... and in with the new...

I will say that I hate feeling like a quitter. And I am not a quitter. Sometimes it may take me a while to complete a task, but I will eventually get it done.

For example: I have this blanket I have been crocheting now for the last... mmm... 6 years or more. I think it is one of those continual, never-ending projects that I have. The blanket is HUGE. I mean, humongous! It will probably be able to fit a family of 4 by the time I am done with it. I am nearly complete, a little more than half way.

But that said and having provided a little background on myself, I will say that I am not giving this project up.

It will be hard completing the daily task, with working as a teacher during the morning and being a mommy 24/7, but I am going to do my darnedest to do this.

I am excited! I got a new camera! It is a Samsung NX100. It is one of those new compact systems cameras (CSC), or as DPS seems to enjoy calling it, a mirror-less interchangeable lens camera (MILC). It is like a DSLR but with the compactness of those smaller digital point-and-shoots! I love it! I just cannot wait to be able to build up knowledge on the functions, and maybe be able to get other lenses (like wide-angle, fish-eye, macro). It is SO exciting! It has an adapter so that I can use Cannon EOS lenses with it! I hope to one day get that! How awesome that would be!

Anyhow, I am going to be doing research when I can to find some themes for the weeks of 2012.

Hope you all have had a wonderful year! I am excited to find out what 2012 has to offer! 2011 made me busy with a baby, a special education teaching position in a great district, and whatever else life decided to throw at me.

Until next time, take care and enjoy these last few days!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I wish I could say it is for good reason! But I cannot. I have no good excuses for my not taking pictures. I hate the fact that I started this project and did not continue it. But I can jump back in, I think...

After our trip to Heber, AZ, I lost my camera. Well, not so much lost as misplaced. I felt horrible, my camera was missing! I don't have any other options for taking pictures except for my phone, and that just doesn't take good pictures. I found it a while later, and guess where it was? In the bottom, and I mean very bottom, of the diaper bag. I thought I had removed everything out of that bag, but apparently not.

The hardest part of missing my camera was all the shots I lost out on taking of my son. That made the camera missing very hard.

I think taking pictures is harder because Nikolai is more mobile now. Before, I would set him down on the floor and take some pictures of something and he would still be where I put him on the floor. But now he crawls, moves and gets into EVERYTHING! SO I have the short amount of time during his naps to take a picture, if even that! So I am using his nap time now to write and say how much a horrible person I am to not have taken pictures this last month. 

I am still discouraged with limited capabilities of my camera; and the fact that after all the pictures I have taken, I do not feel I have gotten better, but instead worse. I am running out of things in this house to capture in still, and have it be interesting.

Until the next photo, I will be sadly looking through my viewfinder. And just that, probably just looking...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Week 16: Water - Days 106 & 107

Water, a wonderful thing to have in the desert. Like the monsoon storm we had last night and into the morning. Too bad I didn't get a picture of the rain. It's amazing how often we use it, how much we need it, and we don't entirely realize it. Like a friend of mine got off work early yesterday because the doctor's office she works at (she is a phlebotomist) did not have water. The office stayed open, but she deals with bodily fluid samples. Um, a doctor's office not having water? Can I say ew?

Day 106

I was washing my hands and thought, "oh! water, I could use this for my project!"... Not exactly ony of my brightest moments, but it was in the early morning and I was tired from lack of sleep...

Day 107

Poor Byron's ears (my son's stuffed bunny). They are perfect for chewing, but that also means that they get nasty really quick! Just like Edgar's nose (my son's stuffed elephant). So last night after my friend Brenda left, I started up a load of lights and threw in the two stuffed animals.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Week 15: Days 103-105

Day 103

My quilt... At this point in time, it is ready to start being pieced together! I started that on Saturday, but got a before picture...

"Time to Sew"

Day 104

I love the rain. It started when I was feeding Nikolai, which of course, the thunder distracted him. So we decided to go outside and watch the rain. Nikolai was more interested in the cars passing by. It was nice and relaxing for the two of us.

Day 105

"Mommy's Time to Play"

I am so stoked! I saved up some birthday and Christmas money and bought myself a cricut! I was going to get the smaller one (they have 'em at Big Lots), but Brandon said to wait because I wanted the expressions one. So, now I have it! Granted, I only have the two cartridges it comes with, but that is ok, the school year is starting soon! :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Week 15: Day 102

"nap time"

I tried not to use the flash, so it was a little difficult. I like the shadows created by the crib from the sconce light being on (it isn't a very bright light). I thought it would be cool in B&W but the picture was just to dark. So when I was editing, there is this option to decolor. It gets it closer to B&W without loosing the integrity of the image. pretty cool...

I just love how he sleeps on his tummy with his butt in the air. I think it is too funny. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Week 15: Day 101

"Dinner Time"

...for the cat that is... Well, technically not yet. She waited for me to put Nikolai down for the night and what does she do but meow her little head off! She should know better, after all these years that I have had her and she still thinks she will get food when she still has some in her bowl. But she was cute, sitting so well (that's right, she 'sits' for her food), then she started sniffing the container we keep her food in. It was so cute and I had yet to take a picture for the day. I had to...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Week 15: Time - Day 99

This weeks theme is 'Time'. I am not so sure about this theme. I cannot leave the shutter open on the camera, though tracking the sun would be so cool to do! Or the road in front of our house...

So this is the clock in the kitchen. It doesn't keep time; the second hand just jumps, sometimes to a new position, but mostly just in place. I tried to keep the motion of the second hand, but without the blur of everything else. So I turned on the S-flash (suppressed? I am not sure), because it has a tendency to capture movement when indoors or in lower light situations.

Week 14: Day 97 & 98

Day 97

We (Victoria, Jena, Nikolai and I) went swimming while Brandon and the boys played airsoft. Once Victoria and Jena got out of the pool, we continued splashing causing me to get a bug bite from this flying ant looking thing (OUCH!). So, I figured to get a picture of ants. Now these aren't the type that bit me, no they are black and much smaller. But ants rain down on any picnic, and picnics are fun during the summer!

I think this turned out pretty cool... I partially covered the flash to prevent a bright, over exposed rock. And I used macro. I just think Macro makes my camera take better photos! But, I must have gotten the distance just right to create the blur of the rock in the background!

Day 98

How can you capture a singing cricket? what image comes to your mind when you think of a singing cricket?

Here is the image that I think of when I imagine that. They sing at night, when cartoons play the noise, the screen is blank. Plus I cannot find the darn thing that sings at night here!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Week 14: Day 96

What is better during the summer than swimming?

Here is our friend's swimming pool! Gotta love reflections and nice clear water! :)

Week 14: Day 95

I figured, Nikolai was napping I had better get out and take a picture while I still have the opportunity to. So I took a few of the horizon with clouds, took some of the weather vane that is outside. I don't think I have ever seen it actually point in the direction of the wind. But then, I don't think I have ever actually looked at it when it is windy.  Then I took a pitcture of this, this is the second one...

I think the way the clouds spiral out from the sun looks pretty cool! And hey, the summer is all about the sun!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Week 14: Day 94

Without a pool to play in, we have to make do with the bathtub. And when in the bathtub, what fun is there without the use of toys that stick to the walls? Letter and numbers are fun to use and spell things with! Here is my inspiration for the song I started singing today. I hope it helps Nikolai learn to spell his name when he gets older! :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Week 14: Day 93

What is better than a Tucson sunset? I am not sure. Hawaii's was pretty, but I am glad to live in a place that has colorful, beautiful sunsets.

Week 14: Summer - Day 92

Wow, yeah is it summer time in Tucson! "summer time and the livin's easy"...

I was going to take a picture of the pool from next door. We spent some time there yesterday in their air conditioned house. But, I was watching our niece and nephew for a few hours. It was cooler there, a/c is much better than a swamp cooler, especially when monsoons are here. You can feel the thickness. But, they are 6 and almost 3 years. No time to take a picture...

Then I thought, oh a monsoon storm would be so cool to capture, that is a surefire sign of summer in Tucson! Besides, we love the rain here! Well, we got home (Brandon, Nikolai and I) and I started getting carried away with dishes and preparing for dinner (I had to go to the store).

So instead, I took a picture of our thermostat. What you see is right, we moved the temp way down to 50! But with a swamp cooler, you cannot control the temp; you get what you get. We just leave it on in hopes it will get down to 70, especially when the rains come!

I thought negative made this much more interesting...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Week 13: Days 90 & 91

The weekends are for family time...

Day 90

Nikolai and Brandon were rocking on the floor...

Day 91

The things we do for each other! I put the quilt aside to put together a welding cap for Brandon. I am pretty proud, had no directions and just the pieces from an old one (falling apart) that he had. Brandon seems to really like it, I just hope it holds up!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Week 13: Day 89

Well, I attempted another weekly assignment. This weeks theme: Cinematic Widescreen. I figured, doing something like 'Raising Arizona" but instead titled it "Raising Kolya" I am not sure if it fit in with the guidlines of the assignment, but figured it would work for this weeks theme too.

Week 13: Day 88

As a family, or even for a family, there are always things to do. My refrigerator is covered with magnets, and that is no understatement! It has pictures, invitations, Christmas cards, birth announcements, appointment reminders, recipes, doctor's visit sheets (weight, length for the baby), stamps, bills to be mailed...  The refrigerator, in our house is the hub for events and communication about what is going on in our family. Without the magnets, I think I would be so lost!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Week 13: Day 87

He is what made us grow from a married couple to a family...

Week 13: Day 86

So this is our 'family' of OBalls. They are supposed to be Nikolai's toys but I think Brandon and I play with them more than Nikolai does. The big one, if you take one side in, it becomes a launcher. We use it to shoot the little OBalls around the house. It is quite funny and enjoyable. Well, for Brandon and I at least!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Week 13: Family - Day 85

Nikolai went to bed early. 8 pm is early for him. Brandon cooked me dinner of a yummy pasta, garlic bread, a tiny bit of a red wine, and candlelight. It was wonderful!

Now I did not want to spoil the moment and try to take a picture, although I did think a picture of the candlelight, us holding hands, and our wedding rings would make a great photo for the theme of 'Family'.  I should have tried, but I don't think Brandon would have appreciated it because the food was done while I was putting Nikolai to bed and in need of microwaving by the time I was out of little man's room. 

So instead I took a picture of the candles and the simmer pot I have as a center piece on our table. I like this one. if you look closely at the oil in the bowl, you can make out the swirls. After deleting the blurry ones and the ones that are a messed up (just blue, not even a picture... I hope my camera will survive the year!), I had 10 left over. 3 I chose to fix up. I even used the bloom feature in PhotoScape...


3 Months Done

I cannot believe I have been working on this project for 3 months already! 12 weeks of picture taking (that is after subtracting the week where I was sick). 

I look back on my pictures and I started this project off real strong. These last few weeks have been whatever I had available out of my shots for the day. But, when I look at the pictures I have taken of my son, I can see a change in my photography skills. I find I am trashing less pictures than before I started this project. And I guess that is my ultimate goal.

I had a discussion this weekend with my husband about photography. One of my dreams/goals, or whatever you want to call it, was to get a degree, a bachelor's of art in photography. I wanted to have my own business. Then I though, one way to make that more practical would be to take the AEPA in art and use it to teach a class in photography (like yearbook or a newspaper class), or to have an after school photography club.  All I need is 30 credit hours and a passing score on the AEPA Art Exam! All the photography classes at Pima Community College total 35 credit hours!

When I was younger, I saw this glass top desk at Office Depot and imagined my own studio with that corner desk as the front desk and my photo studio in a room behind it. The walls had images of my photo shoots, my portfolio. But this was my imagination, and I never realized this dream.

I think this is part of my discouragement from continuing this project.  I feel it will never progress further than amateur photography for pleasure rather than professional. Why would I bother trying to become a professional photographer when: 1) I don't have the means to acquire professional tools 2) I know so many other people that do it as a side business and 3) I am not outgoing enough to build up my own clientele. As Brandon had told me, it is not a practical profession...

I don't mean to be a downer, really I don't. But it is hard to have had this interest for as long as I could remember and not have gone anywhere with it. So many times I could have pursued this dream and did not. I could have purchased a DSLR so long ago, that by now I may have had a business or something going on.  I am kicking myself in the rear for not having done anything about it and now when I bring it up, I am discouraged.

Who knows how things will change in the next 9 months. But until the end, I am continuing this project. This week is week 13 and the theme is Family. So I am just trying to get ideas on how to do this theme and hoping that the photos come out with my satisfaction...

Day 82 - 84

Day 82

This day I had worked on my first "Symmetry in Motion" block. It was difficult, required all my attention, and took me 2 hours from start to finish! I took pictures every step of the way to document my progress with the new block doing it all by myself. This one was not one of the best, but it was the best one that was not messed up as my memory card or camera is doing...

I just noticed what I did wrong with this picture. Not with taking it, but with the tools. Can you tell?

..... I left to blade up! A big No-No when not in use!

Day 83

I took so many pictures this day trying to figure out what to do for this project. Finally I just decided to continue with taking pictures of my little man. He was playing with the rubber ducky that I had when I was a baby (the one from my first word).

Day 84

Again, another quilt picture. This was the only picture I took this day. The progress on the quilt so far...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Day 81

So, it is not so much a focus on a picture as it is on my other project I have going on... (perhaps I have too much going on at once?) It is the center of the quilt I am making for my son. I had messed up a few of the stars, and thus we decided to change the stars. This after fixing (more like re-do-ing) 1 out of the 3 that need re-done...

Regardless of my number of projects, I am excited about the look of this center...

Day 80

Not many pictures were taken this day. I did take some of Nikolai with his spoon after his lunchtime feeding of rice cereal. He was cute. I had to play with Photoscape some more, since I no longer have Lightroom 3... {:(

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Days 77-79

Day 77

The 3rd of July... We watched Fireworks that were set off at the Casino... Nikolai's first fireworks...

Day 78

The 4th of July. I tried my hand at firworks from 'A' Mountain... I forgot my tripod so I had to hold my camera. I think if I had my tripod it would have turned out better, but oh well... I think this looks cool because of the smoke....

Day 79

The power cut out and then back on again... Nikolai was so interested in what was going on, he kept trying to follow us around. And the poor thing... I think he is teething...

Days 74-76

Day 74

The newest arrival to Brandon's side of the family so far... Nikolai's second cousin's baby girl! I love babies...

Day 75

Taking pictures without the use of the flash by one of our windows, a difficult task because the camera catches movement easily...

Day 76

I retook this picture a few times. One saturday we were discussing an idea for a quilt I had, and this was the plan realized through the use of graph paper and colored pencil...

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Days 69-73

Day 69

Feeding Nikolai his Rice Cereal and this just was perfect. He is still not sure about it! I caught him with his mouth open!

Day 70

I made spaghetti sauce all by myself. No jarred stuffs no canned food stuffs, just from scratch! And it was really good! I am proud of myself!

Day 71

Nikolai was playing with my shoes. I was taking pictures of him, doing my "10 pictures, 1 subject" thing, and I like the way this one turned out. Too bad it was late and the lighting in the house isn't that great! But, my little boy has pretty good posture! Maybe it is from watching me do yoga? Probably not...

Day 72

I should have seen this for what it was, as sign he was going to pull himself into standing while in his crib. He did that later that day too!

Day 73

Our day 5 of actually sitting at the dinner table to eat dinner. And, actually having a meal worthy of sitting at the dinner table to eat dinner! This was the asparagus parts that we did not give Nikolai, homemade re-fried beans (which I accidentally left the burner on so they were burned to the bottom of the pot) and a drumstick with Kellog's Corn Flakes coated on it. It was actually pretty good. Too bad I don't like eating chicken that has not been de-boned. It's a psychosomatic type thing... Now if only we can keep this dinner thing up...

Days 64-68

Day 64

Can you see the baby? we were playing hide and seek behind the curtain... then I had to take a picture of him...

Day 65

Crawled under the table. Wound up getting stuck because when he went up on his knees to get out from under it, his head hit the lip that hangs down... Poor thing, but it was pretty funny!

Day 66

Got his shots this day, and poor thing was falling asleep on his daddy!

Day 67

Hera was letting Nikolai pet her! She even laid down next to him! Nikolai eventually lost interest, but I had to take a picture of her. She is such a good, sweet kitty!

Day 68

I walked into his room because I heard him making noise while I was starting laundry (rooms are right next to each other) and there he was sitting up playing with his music box, wave machine thingy. So I decided to turn it on. It's more interesting when the parts that move are actually moving!

I am still here...

After our trip to California, my camera has been doing some funky things. When reviewing some pictures on the camera's LCD screen, it shows "card read error". Then after uploading the pictures onto the computer, they look a little like this...

I am a bit discouraged from any photography at the moment. I am still taking pictures everyday, just not specifically for anything in particular. No agenda, no nothing... My camera does this and I do not know why. To top it off, it takes a 5 second delay to actually take the picture once i hit the shutter release button. That then is even more discouragement. And my trial of lightroom 3 has ended. I no longer have that fantastic program to edit pictures! I feel pre-production just isn't as good as post-production when it comes to sharing, and nothing seems as good as lightroom 3!

So, despite my discouragement, and I going to try my hardest to get back into this actively. I am just really upset that my camera is doing what it is doing to pictures! :( But it is an old camera (10 years?) and it has treated me well.... perhaps it is time to start looking for something new? Until then I will try my best to get stuff on here!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

California: Days 54 - 63

Vacationed Days 54-63. Did not get the opportunity to update while we were gone so here is up through Sunday...

Day 54: Friday
This was my Granfather holding Nikolai. My Dad placed him in his lap and I was surprised because he hasn't seemed interested in holding him before.  Nikolai and I visited before leaving and my camera was in the car, so this was taken with my phone...

Day 55: Saturday
The morning of our arrival. accept this was at 1 am. We stopped at a rest stop for Brandon to take over driving so I could sleep. We figured it had been a while since Nikolai had eaten so we woke him to let him eat. Since he was up, might at well let him get some standing time in before putting him into his carseat again.

Day 56: Sunday
This was our second day there, but our first full day since we arrived in the afternoon on saturday. Gatlin (my cousin's son) and Nikolai spent some time playing together on the floor then went swimming in the pool. It was busy and limited pictures were taken by me.

Day 57: Monday
These were some pretty flowers at a vineyard.

Day 58: Tuesday
This place had pretty good burgers!

Day 59: Wednesday
Saying a momentary goodbye. Gatlin was coming back, but his daddy and some cousins were leaving. In this picture they were looking at one of the dogs.

Day 60: Thursday
The beauty of the redwoods. Giant trees, and these are just the babies!

Day 61: Friday
My little frog prince. The day before we left. We were to go swimming, but instead just chilled...

Day 62: Saturday
Our old mailbox infront of the house in which we lived in California. My Dad built that post! Amazing that it is there over 18 years later!

Day 63: Sunday
Almost home, this is on the side of the road on the way into Phoenix on I-10.