Monday, January 31, 2011

Repeating patterns

The Daily Shoot assignment today is “repeating patterns.” One repeating pattern for me is that I forget plans and appointments because I neglect to put them on the calendar. Here is our new calendar, and a new repeating pattern – writing appointments on it!
TDS repeating

On another note – the weather guru just said, “Into the deep freeze tonight.” Hmph. I don’t really want a deep freeze tonight. Oh well…I’ll probably just stay home and hibernate during the cold weather anyway. We’ve had wind the last couple days, and that has actually kept Andrew and Nathan inside. Those two will play outside in all sorts of conditions, but I guess wind and cold isn’t among them. They actually stayed in and watched VeggieTales today.

I’m off to finish work and then I’m going to watch Chuck with my sweetie. Thanks for stopping!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Science

Andrew and Caleb saw Ken's Galileo Thermometer today and wanted to know how it worked. I knew how to tell the temperature with it, but I didn't know how it worked, so I did the only logical thing. I Googled it! Now I know! After explaining it to Andrew and Caleb, and taking it outside to watch it change, then back in to watch again, I decided to capture the colors with the window light shining through. It's a fun, useful, and pretty implement that provided us with a Sunday Science lesson!

Saturday, January 29, 2011


The Daily Shoot assignment is "Communication." I thought of all the traditional things...someone talking on a phone, writing a letter, even texting or instant messaging...but I wasn't thrilled with the thoughts. Then I saw Ken and Fancy "communicating" - Ken can NOT talk without using his hands! He even gestures when he's talking to himself! So I caught one of his hands in mid-conversation...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Caleb's Hyacinth is lovely!

more hyacinth
Originally uploaded by snaphappee.elli
We have so been enjoying this plant all week. It's a beautiful hint of spring, and it changes so quickly that we never tire of looking at it. Caleb was whispering sweet nothings to it today - "Oh! I love you so much! I hope you don't die!"

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Great Bloomin’ Hyacinths!

Caleb squealed with delight when he saw that his hyacinth was blooming first thing this morning. I was making much-needed coffee at the time, so I didn’t get a picture of that, but I did practice spotlighting with the Gorilla Torch later in the day.

(If you want more info on this photo it can be found by clicking on the photo.)

Here is a pull-back of the setup.

I finished Austin’s hat last night…he was happy to finally have it on his head!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bible Study/Play Date!

We hosted a Bible Study this morning. Two of the participants brought their adorable children, so we had 5 kids under 5 playing in the Littles' room. I took a few shots of them while they played, but this was my favorite. I asked this little man if I could take his picture and he said, "no" as he was putting his head down. Being the contrary type of person I took the picture anyway. Aren't his eyelashes wonderful? I love the way they hover above his still-chubby little cheeks. All 5 kids were great and played happily for 2 hours. Yay!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Special Olympics!

Andrew and Austin are participating in the Special Olympics this week (Tues & Wed), and boy, have they been excited! They've talked about it constantly for days, and when they came home from the first day of fun and activity they were so bubbly with enthusiasm I couldn't even understand them! Here's a quick photo of them in their new Special Olympics sweatshirts...

Monday, January 24, 2011

"The Dark Side of Knitting"

Today's Daily Shoot assignment was to use a hard light source to create distinct shadows. Well...I didn't end up with distinct shadows because I chose the photo with the most drama. I have to laugh at the idea of "dramatic knitting." My Flickr friend Crow called it "The Dark Side of Knitting." I thought that was great. 

My backdrop got crinkled. Ergh...but here's the direction I was heading before I settled on "The Dark Side."

This project is a purse I started for the Bag-a-month Club over at

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bonus post

I wanted to share this photo I took this evening. I had to wait for it to get dark to try spotlighting the hyacinth Mom bought today – it was a gift for the heartbroken Caleb, and he just loves it! (He was heartbroken that I made him go home with his Daddy instead of going to the store with us.) This shot was in response to the Daily Shoot assignment – “the most beautiful thing…”

I used Ken’s Gorilla Torch to spotlight the flower-to-be. Here is my setup shot…

Of course, for the actual shot, the dining room lights were off. See the Gorilla Torch hanging down from the light fixture? I love that thing! It’s magnetic, bendy, bright…it’s just awesome!

I was in the nursery at church

One of the kids’ favorite occupations in the church nursery is taking pictures with my cell phone. Caleb had a great time taking pictures of me. This one was taken so I could show off just how color-coordinated I am…I’m so cool even my coffee cup matches my outfit!
coordinated outfit

I took this one of the 2-year-old we had in there. One of the older kids was preparing “meals” for him, and he was all ready to pray and eat!
Easton ready to eat

These little guys are so much fun! For a long time we didn’t have any kids in the nursery – it’s great to have a group of young’uns again!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Spotlight on precious

I had a wonderful light opportunity today - Caleb and Molly were cuddling in a shaft of sunlight. I loved the effect it produced...

I finished Nana's scarf today! The family (plus 2, minus 1) went on a walk. We played some games after dinner. It was a mellow, at-home Saturday. Whoohoo! Ken and I are finishing it up with The Bucket List. Somehow we've managed not to see this one yet. I like it!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Felice is engaged!

Actually, she’s been engaged since Christmas day, but today we were finally able to get a few shots of her lovely ring!

Felice and her intended, Tracy, plan to get married on 11/11/11. What a wonderful anniversary to have!

It was a work, work, work kinda day today. I only took these ring photos today. Hardly did any knitting. Only 20 minutes of Wii. Hmph. Tomorrow is going to be a play day!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A late entry and a spin-off

Two of my Flickr friends – windsordi and DeForestRanger have a kind of fun side project going this week. They are using their Trek action figures to fulfill a week's assignments. It’s been fun to “watch!” My shot was not taken with that in mind – it was taken with the Daily Shoot “low point of view” concept in mind – but once I saw it on the computer it made me think of gazing into the core of a Star Trek planet. So, windsordi and Crow, here is “gazing into Atrea IV.”
Gazing into Atrea IV
(For those who aren’t into the Star Trek thing – I used my cell phone to shoot the underside of this…um…well…stunning hanging lamp.)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Working on a scarf for Nana

I've slowed down a bit on knitting projects - I have 3 in process right now, but all 3 of them are longer-term projects. This one is for Nana - she asked me to make a scarf for her, and Caleb helped me pick out this yarn. I like the way it looks so far, but I have a long way to go on it. This stitch isn't nearly as fast as Fancy's or Andrew's scarves.

What do you think, Nana?

After I put all my photo gear away last night I figured out how I should have taken my cup cuddler I set up my "seamless background paper" (aka blank newsprint) and did some "studio" work. The shots of Nana's scarf were taken this way, as was this photo of yesterday's cup cuddler. 

While I was doing whatever it was that I was doing (I'm not quite sure what I've accomplished today) Caleb was scrubbing out the sink with a Magic Eraser. What a helpful little man.

Molly was occupying herself by surveying her kingdom. Ken says this is our new outdoor centerpiece.

So there ya have it. If you have a photo blog be sure to check out our Facebook fan page -

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A quick post today

This morning I made this little cup cuddler (to keep your hands from burning while you wait for your latte to cool)…it didn’t even take an hour.

(I did try to get a shot of it on a cup, but I just couldn’t get the background right, so this is all you get!)

That was my lone creativity for the day. It was a busy day for me. I did school with Caleb, went to Hamilton with Mom and Caleb, had dinner with the family, worked, put the kids to bed, and all of a sudden the day was over! I’m going to go watch Twilight Zone with my sweetie before I fall asleep. Maybe tomorrow will be longer.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Molly wasn’t really into the photo thing…

It was Molly’s turn to sit for photos again today. She wasn’t thrilled. She refused to offer eye contact at all. Oh well. The Daily Shoot assignment was to make a photo with a soft look, so I shot this one into the flash to simulate sunflare and get that soft, washed out look of shooting into the sun.

Here are a couple more projects I just finished. I made the hat for Nathan last night (in 3 hours!) and I loved it so much I made one for myself today.

(Thanks to Dale for shooting this one.)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sundays are mellow in Scrivnerburg

I love Sundays that are calm and undemanding. After church we had lunch and then I took a nap! Yay for naps! I made two casseroles this evening - I love it when I can make extra and put one in the freezer. I now have 4 frozen meals waiting - that makes me feel wealthy! I didn't do any real, difficult photography today - I captured a moment between my 3 younger kids...
I love it when they do something together happily. 

This evening I knitted a hat for Nathan - I love it so much I that sense a mommy-sized hat coming in the near future...I'll share a shot of Nathan's hat when he has it on.

I hope it was a peaceful weekend for my blog friends. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Macro in a mason jar – sort of

I saw this blog post about creating a “macro in a mason jar.” I thought it was a fun concept, but I discovered that I didn’t actually have the equipment I needed – like a large enough clean jar. I tried with what I had, but it just didn’t work. Today I decided to try it with my purple vase – it worked a lot better, although I did get a bit of a color cast from the vase. Oh well…fun experiment anyway. It might be even more fun with a subject that works well with the color cast. So here’s my macro in a “mason jar” and the pull back so you can see the color of the vase.
macro in a mason jar attempt 2

It’s been another nice, relaxed Saturday. We got to go to Hamilton for breakfast with some new friends, and then I came home and just hung out. I like these laid back days. The kitchen is clean…the living room is livable…dinner is planned…aaaahhhh…

Friday, January 14, 2011

Knitting in motion

The Daily Shoot assignment was to show motion, so I took some slow shutter speed shots to show the motion of my knitting. I really, really wanted to get Dale’s hat done. I finally figured out magic looping, and was able to get his hat done! Whew!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I wonder what I did with my ice skates…

I sure could have used them today! Our streets were sheer ice with water running on top. Absolutely treacherous! The schools had a delayed start, and the cars that were out were moving verrrrrrry slowly and cautiously. I was going to go out and take pictures of the kids skating around in their boots, but I heard a rumor that discretion is the better part of valor, and I decided discretion called for staying indoors. Caleb took one tumble that landed him in a puddle. Every piece of his clothing got wet except one – his hat!
Calebs hat on

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I’m still knitting like a crazy woman!

I’ve been thinking the knitting is a stress reliever for me…but after trying magic loop knitting, I’m not so sure.

little purse 2
I just wanted to try something little with an I cord handle. This was my test. Kristi is holding it here, but Caleb thinks it's so “cute” and keeps taking it places to show it off. Funny man-child.

Our weather got really snowy and nasty…the kind I don’t like to go out in, so I haven’t ventured out to take pictures of anything. The kids spent the afternoon/evening outside building snowmen. They had a great time, and made quite a family of snowmen…but then the rain came. Sad smile Their snow family started looking more and more like sad, dirty pyramids of snow. Oh well. I guess that’s winter in Montana.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Water in a Wine Glass

The Daily Shoot assignment today is "Make a photograph today that features or uses a liquid as a subject." I decided to make use of some of the available light, some white posterboard, and my little flash to get a photo of these handblown wine glasses. I've had these for a while, but I'm not sure they've ever been featured among my glasses and goblets.

Monday, January 10, 2011

I love finishing projects!

Today I finished the hood for Kristi. I love it! It looks so cute on her, and she thinks it's wonderful! I just hope she doesn't lose it!

Another important news item - Scrivnerburg is soon to be investigated for animal cruelty. Well, we will if the cat has anything to say about it. We obviously don't provide her with clean drinking water, so she must steal Ken's. 
It's not like there's a big, silver bowl full of water over on the kitchen floor. But even if we had such a thing, it would probably be touched by a dog's tongue, and would therefore be defiled. So the poor, unloved, under-appreciated feline is forced to dab for tiny drops of water left in a drinking glass. Such a sad story. (Wait - there IS a silver bowl of defiled water! But Cheerio couldn't possibly deign to swallow that nastiness!) And if we aren't cruel enough already, we have to leave the only drinkable water at the very bottom of a glass that's almost too big for the cat. Cruel, cruel, cruel.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

This is the day...

...this is the day...that the Lord hath made. (For those who aren't familiar, that's part of a song.)

This was a good Sunday. I got to play the piano at church today. It was really fun! It's the first time I've really enjoyed it in a long time! I liked the music we did, the people seemed to be into it, and I was reasonably comfortable with the music. Great combination!

Today's Daily Shoot assignment was "Embrace the shadows today and make a photograph dominated by dark tones, also known as a low-key image." I finally got a Daily Shoot photo that I really like!

Low-key is definitely not my forte, and I took 28 shots to get one that I liked, but I'm still learning, right? I'm going to go study Sandra's low-key stuff to learn how to do this! 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Just a Saturday in Scrivnerburg

We had a low-key day! Whoohoo! Ken didn't get up until after 9am - I can't remember the last time that happened. I spent most of the day working on this...

This will be for's going pretty quickly, and it's very soft!

The neighbor girls were here a good portion of the day. One of the facts of having several children is that the neighborhood kids tend to congregate at our house. For a period of time this afternoon we actually had 12 people under 18 years old here! It sounds insane, but it really wasn't bad. Most of them were watching the new Nanny McPhee movie, and those that weren't were playing fairly nicely in a bedroom. We do have some pretty strict rules though - more strict that a lot of families. When I enforced the "talk nicely to people" rule 3 of the visiting kids went home, but one was back within minutes. 

When the movie was over we sent all the kids outside, and they quickly found things to do. This is Nathan's favorite past-time...

It has really been a nice, calm day. We will end it with a comfort-food dinner (chicken, gravy, mashed taters, salad), and haircuts. We really know how to party in Scrivnerburg! 

Friday, January 7, 2011

I really had trouble...

...with the Daily Shoot assignment today. "Use strong converging lines in a photograph today." I tried several things, including some suggestions from friends, and didn't come up with anything I really liked. I ended up with only one shot that I thought I could even share. 
I used my diffuser panel as the white surface, and bounced my external flash off the ceiling. ISO 400; ss 1/200; f/6.3. The vignetting occurred as a result of the lens, or conditions, or something. I did not add in it post-processing.

We had a young family over to dinner this evening. It was a delightful evening, and we just talked and talked and talked! The kids all had a wonderful time together (they have a 3 year old and an almost 2 year old), and some of our boys even provided some musical entertainment! The lasagna came our perfect, and everyone enjoyed the evening. Now it's time for some wind down...and tomorrow I'm going to finish that scarf I was working on yesterday. 'Can't wait!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My interest in knitting has been rekindled!

As you can probably tell from my recent posts, I have found enjoyment in knitting again. My hands don't want to work with the little needles and the fine yarn, but my new size 13 bamboo needles and some soft sport weight yarn make for a relaxing way to spend an hour. I loved the stitch of Fancy's scarf so much I decided to make one for myself. This yarn is really soft - I can't wait to finish this so I can wear it! Now all the kids want something too - this one wants a hat, that one wants a scarf...I may be busy for a while!

One of my Flickr contacts led me to - that place is awesome! Lots of patterns and so many other needlework resources - it's just amazing!

Once again, photographers, come on over to the Project 365 site and join us in photography discussions!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What does a large family do for fun? Clean out the furniture!

Way back at Thanksgiving we cleared furniture out of our living room to make room for all of the tables we needed. We put our overstuffed chair in Fancy's room, and just left it there through the Christmas season (we put our tree where the chair normally sits.) Today we finally moved the chair back to its home, but in the process of moving it we discovered that it had more stuff in it than our storage shed. These are just the non-garbage items we got out of the chair. 

There's still some stuff in there Ken couldn't get out. Craziness. That big remote was one Jenny and Philip lost when they owned this furniture - more than 4 years ago. The Clinique is Jenny's too. We've been hunting for those nail clippers. And that belt. The big question is... "how did that sword fit in there?"

One more knitting shot for you too. I made this lacy black scarf for Fancy. I love it so much I'm going to make a similar one for myself.

I finished a project!

Actually, I finished two projects. The scarf that Caleb wanted is finished and being worn, and here is the finished cowl.

Yesterday was the first time I chose NOT to post a photo blog post in over a year! Zowie! I had the photo done early in the day, but I had a lot of other things to do in the evening, so I didn't force myself to post. I actually found it hard to not stay up way past bedtime to get the post ready! 

Since it's morning, it's time to go and get started on Caleb's school day and the housework. I expect to be back later today to post another thrilling photo! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Symbol of my Obsession

The Daily Shoot assignment today is “Make a photograph with a symbol or an icon in it today.” This particular symbol is exciting to me – it means fun, and challenge, and adventure! I love my Canons (20d and Rebel XT, 50mm 1.8, 18-55 mm), and I eagerly look forward to the time with I can add to the family.
TDS symbol

I didn’t realize until I got the shots on the computer just how dusty the lens is on this camera. I do keep it in a case. Hmmm. This is the camera the kids use though (Rebel XT), so who knows where they may have taken it to get photos. (I’m not sure where the kids’ pictures are…I wonder if someone deleted them. Hmmm again.)

For a long time I didn’t let the kids use my cameras, but then I realized that I am at least as likely to drop one as they are (I’ve done it twice – none of them have ever dropped one of mine), and I need to be encouraging their artistic interests, so I’ve actually started teaching them some photography basics. Some of them are pretty good already! When I have some photos that haven’t been unintentionally deleted I’ll share them!

Thanks for stopping by! If photography is your hobby or passion, stop by the Project 365 Forum. We’d love to chat with you!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

'Know what I did all day?

I sat on the couch watching movies and knitting. Well, after church, lunch, and a trip to the variety store. (Mom - I just realized I forgot to come and fix your glasses. I'm sorry!) Caleb saw some variegated yarn in my craft supplies and asked me to make a scarf for him, so I started that yesterday. I'm about 3/4 done with that right now, but last night I also ran across this great yarn in my supplies and decided I needed to make a scarf, or wrap, or cowl with it. (Another note to Mom - do you recognize this yarn?)

This shot was taken using window light; ISO 1600, f/3.5, ss 1/50.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The first day of a new year!

It seems that this photo-a-day project is going to be an ongoing thing. I don’t think I need to keep track of the numbers anymore. It’s not like post #365 is going to be the end! Posting a photo each day is such a habit now that I don’t think I need to be motivated by the rising numbers, and I don’t need to see the “end” coming.

Waaaaay back when – I think it was the last week of October, 2008 – I was kind of coerced into starting a 365 project. I knew that I would feel compelled to stick with it if I committed to it, and I was afraid of that kind of commitment. Now I think about that and laugh at myself. During the first few months I did find it hard to stay motivated and produce a photo I wanted to share, but somewhere along the way I realized that I had begun purposely improving my photography skills. Light started to make sense to me, ordinary objects began to look like abstract art, and the fellowship of the 365 carried me along on the rough days. Most of the people I started that journey with back in 2008 dropped off the project map after a while, but there are some that I am still blogging along with. I love that! We have been on some great virtual photography adventures together!
StarWe’ve had military separations - Tess' husband deployed; Sandra's daughter in Kentucky;
Starnew experiences – Sandra’s first wedding; my first foray into paid food photography; Heather’s first print sale;
Starmilestones – Potty party!; Izzy’s graduation

Along the way I’ve made some great new friends too! Some I “met” in the middle of the project; some were unable to complete the year but kept cheering the rest of us on; some were even inspired to start a project by our efforts. It has been amazing to make this journey with such wonderful people!

I spent today with another group of wonderful people. We didn’t do much – it was a very laid back day in Scrivnerburg, but I did take some pictures of the people I spent the day with…

Thanks to my husband who is always a willing assistant.

One more note – if you are working on a 365 project, thinking about one, or just interested in photography, you can join us at the Project 365 Forum.