Monday, February 28, 2011

Fancy has a new 'do!

Forgive me for not taking the time necessary to really get a good studio-type portrait of Fancy's new hair style. I'm missing one of the receivers for my external flashes, so I only had one light. Ergh. I really need to work on a one-light setup. Anyway, her hair is really cute! I love it curly like this, but after we snapped a few photos she went and straightened it. It looks cute that way too, but I'm partial to the curls!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I love my Daily Shoot photo!

The Daily Shoot assignment today was to shoot something that is glowing. Today I set up Ken's Joby Gorilla Torch under my favorite paperweight and took some shots. I love the result I got!

The challenge from the Digital Photography School was "outdoor portraits." We used this challenge as the weekend assignment for Project 365 - we will be using those weekend assignments to choose the new profile photo. Since my photo wouldn't be chosen this time (as it's my turn to choose a photo) I submitted a goofy one...

The boys (especially Caleb) also wanted me to shoot my idea for yesterday's Daily Shoot (connection) even though that assignment was past. I was going to shoot 4 or 5 boys with arms around each other's shoulders, but I just never got the chance to do it. Caleb and Austin asked me to do it today, so here they are. Such sweet boys.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Knitting Bling!

stitch markers by Fancy
Originally uploaded by Elli :-)
I asked Fancy to make some stitch markers for me, and these are what she came up with. I love them!

I got the Special Olympics scarves mailed off today, so I started on a new purse. This is one I plan to give away, so no more details on that...but I'm loving it so far!

Now I'm off to bed to rest up for the Lord's day.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Scarves are ready!

My two scarves for the Special Olympics are ready! I'll be mailing them off tomorrow. Yay! It turned out that Alaska had met their goal by the time I was ready to send them, so mine will be going to Virginia. I hope the recipients love them! This photo of the second scarf was taken specifically to apply to the Daily Shoot assignment of "horizontal lines."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Peace and Harmony

The Daily Shoot assignment today is "Peace and harmony." Here is my interpretation of that theme...
It's very closely related to my concept of the "warmth" theme

I also played around a bit with my new "studio".

And the pullback for that last one...


Ergh. I've got a load of work to do, and not enough time to do it. I hate times like that. I would like to finish my last Special Olympics scarf and enjoy some television. Rarr.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Natural Beauty

TDS natural beauty
Originally uploaded by Elli :-)
The Daily Shoot assignment today was to find natural beauty. I loved the bright sunshine right over the menacing clouds.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I love The Burger Shack!

I had another opportunity to shoot photos for The Burger Shack today. They have added a bunch of items to their menu, and they wanted photos of some of the new offerings. Before I went off to shoot for them I wanted to try some different lighting methods, and I came up with one I liked. Here is my "food photography studio." It is foam core posterboard, and this "room" and my one flash were just what I needed!
(I have the flash power lower than I normally would for this so you can see detail in the foam core "room.")

Here is the shot I took with this setup...

I took these treasures off to The Burger Shack and got started on the deliciousness...


I think this is the prettiest burger - all those colors!

One more note - Caleb's pumpkin seeds (and golden melon seeds now) have started to sprout! Is it a coincidence that the first several to peek their little heads up were the ones that Caleb (Mr. Golden-Green Thumb) planted? It only took his 5 days! He was so excited! I said, "Caleb, look! You have sprouts!" He looked and then started dancing around the kitchen sing-songing, "I love sprouts!"

Monday, February 21, 2011

New Spectacles!

It's been at least three years since I got new glasses (that I didn't have to return), so today was the day. I got my first pair of progressives, and I'm totally surprised to find that they're awesome! They are not nearly as difficult as I thought they would be to deal with. It just worked out that today's Daily Shoot assignment is "self portrait" so I actually did the assignment today!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I created a...thing!

I was playing around with knitting, i cord, bracelets... I combined those things with a button, and made a braided i-cord bracelet.

I'm going to work on it a bit more...refine it...maybe add beads to it...


Saturday, February 19, 2011

"White" Challenge

Digital Photography School's challenge for the week is "white." I asked the kids for suggestions for a white photo, and, of course, Caleb suggested that I shoot the freesia we bought a few days ago. Little Mr. Green Thumb would have this house FULL of plants and flowers if we'd let him. I can't complain - I love plants and flowers too, but I'm not very good at taking care of them. If I can enjoy them and let Little Mr. Green Thumb tend to them, I get the best of both worlds, right? Here is our freesia...

Friday, February 18, 2011

It's been such a busy week!

This week has flown by, and I'm not even sure what I got done. I worked a lot, spent a lot of time with kids, went here and there...and suddenly it's Friday night. I did manage to finish the first Special Olympics scarf and start a second...

This afternoon Mom and I Skyped with my brother.

(Please ignore the messy desk.)

I guess things really did get done this week...but I'm not sure how we got to another weekend so quickly! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Today was finally the day!

A friend gave us a wonderful pumpkin last year (great shape) and Caleb and I decided to try to grow some pumpkins from the seeds. We carefully saved and dried the seeds, and marked on the calendar when we were going to plant them. After asking me for many weeks when it was going to be time, Caleb finally got the answer he was waiting for! Today was the day!

Ken bought roses for his ladies for Valentine's Day, and included in mine and Fancy's bouquets were these very colorful flowers. Fancy's is starting to open up a bit...I hope it keeps opening so I can see what it looks like inside!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Quick post for this busy day

It was a crazy busy day for me, so I’m just going to post a few shots quickly, and then I’m going to go to sleep!

I finished the first Special Olympics scarf last night! Yay!

Our weather today was…well…fickle. It went from raining to snaining to snowing to overcast to snowing to raining…last I checked it was snowing again. If you like a variety of wet, we’ve had it today! I liked the raindrop suspended in this shot with the bokeh snowflakes – it really describes the weather we had.

There’s no doubt about what the weather was doing in this one! We had some times when the snow was falling in fat, fluffy, puffs of flakes. It was quite pretty, actually.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I get to continue to enjoy Valentine’s Day

My sweet honey got me a dozen roses for Valentine’s Day. They were pretty tight buds when I got them, so I’m hopeful that they will continue to open up and fill out. I haven’t taken the time to take really good shots of them yet, but here’s one them…
one valentine rose

As I told you yesterday, I’m a terrible mother. Today I made children clean their room.
torturing Kristi

torturing Caleb
(Actually, Caleb’s tears were a result of a broken toy, not the instruction to clean the room.)

Monday, February 14, 2011

I get the terrible mother of the week award.

I'm a terrible mother! I made my Austerbug cry! He got a ladybug pillowpet, and I teasingly took it and hugged it like I was going to keep it, and he started to cry. I feel terrible!

(You can tell how terrible I feel by how many times I used the word "terrible!")

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Some Sunday Snaps

I'm going to make this a quick post and just share a couple snapshots. It was a busy day - church, lunch out to celebrate Dale's birthday (oops - I forgot to blog about Dale's birthday - I'll get to that tomorrow), an afternoon business meeting at church, preparation for the kids' Valentine's Day celebrations...I'm tired!

While we were waiting for our food we found different ways to occupy ourselves. Ken and his dad chatted, a school friend of the boys' happened to be at the same restaurant and he and the younger boys entertained each other, Felice, Kristi, and Caleb colored...

...and Fancy, Dale, and I played with our cameras.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saturday Outings

It was such a beautiful day in Stevensville! My 7d and I went out and about two different times. The first time I went out with Ken and a whole passel of kids to the park. Dale needed to do some experimenting with his trebuchet, so we all traipsed down there (well, Ken and Dale went in the truck because the trebuchet needed transport) and enjoyed the lovely weather. 

Caleb had to walk his pet stick down to the park and back. Five-year-olds are so funny.

After that trip, I went over to Mom's and we got her new power wheelchair, Ben, out in the sunshine.

This shot was just for the color of it. I loved the red on red.


Friday, February 11, 2011

I got my 7d!!!

(I'm sorry this didn't get posted on Friday! Oops!)

I finally got my 7d! I'm so excited! I've been wanting this camera for over a year, and today was the day! It's wonderful. It's big, and heavy, and takes superdy-duperdy sharp pictures! Even the snapshots look nice! I didn't have time to get very creative with it tonight - I had to charge the battery - but here is my first keeper photo from the lovely Canon 7d.

I can't wait to get out and about and really practice with it. Several of the controls are different from my 20d, so it's going to take some time to get used to it. Fortunately, the weather is improving, so I should be able to get outside a bit. Oh, and I need to practice with this and my lights. Ooh! Ooh! And I need to try off-camera flash outdoors! And a full family portrait (my family) with the tripod and everything! So much to do! 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I haven’t lost all my marbles!

found my marbles

pretties and marbles

I was just practicing lighting. I held my diffused external flash directly over both of these marble containers to light up the marbles. The second one is not actually a marble – it’s a glass ball that my mother gave me for Christmas – but I like the way it looks surrounded by marbles.

It’s been a very long day. Work this morning, 5 parent-teacher conferences this afternoon, dinner, then Praise Team practice, then more work. I’m all done. ‘Night!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cool stuff...

I have a new knitting project...I'm excited about this!
I am going to make a few scarves for the Special Olympics -
This is the start of my first one.

I also want to share my wonderful new knitting bag!

I got it from Thirty-One

Now I'm off to work on my first scarf a bit more. I'd like to be working on my second one by the weekend. Whew!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Christmas isn't really over!

In December I got my hands on a great book for the Advent season! It’s Everything Christmas, published by Waterbrook Press. This book is designed to be read daily from the first of December to the 24th. Each day is filled with nuggets of fun, interesting, and evocative snippets. Recipes, carols, stories…all very interesting and short enough to keep the interest of most family members.
I didn’t get this book in time to use it through the recent holiday season, but I am definitely looking forward to using it next December. We have found that it can be easy to lose the meaning of the holiday season, so I love the daily format – it’s a good way for the family to enjoy the Christmas season and remember the purpose through the month.
Another great feature is the recipes that are included – some of them sound really good, and would be great to expand our Christmas traditions beyond our American borders.
Words to carols and their stories are also included – I love reading about the origins of hymns and carols, so I find this very interesting. We might use this aspect to bring caroling back to our piano!
Be sure to put this book on your Christmas preparation list!
'Can't forget to tell you - I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.


The Daily Shoot assignment today is "preparedness." I must confess that I don't have good enough examples of "preparedness." I don't have emergency supplies prepared for power outages or disasters...I don't have my menus prepared (that's unusual for me)...I don't even have my clothes set out for tomorrow! But my kids' backpacks are prepared for tomorrow. We put hooks up on this wall to hold the 6 younger kids' backpacks - it makes it very easy for us to see whose backpack might be laying in the middle of the living room floor, and it also makes it simple to check for papers they've forgotten to hand over.

Today was the 100th day of school, and the younger elementary kids always count out 100 things. Kristi chose to count 100 pennies. She took them in to school for the project, and then brought them home and spent the whole afternoon counting pennies. Truly, she spent about 2 hours at the dining table counting, recounting, and overrecounting the pennies. There are 100 of them.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Snow and tomatoes

The Daily Shoot assignment was to take a photo framed by a window or door – I wasn’t actually able to frame this by the window I shot through because it was the windshield of my Suburban. My cell phone couldn’t get the windshield too. I just liked the look of the snowy, wintery scene on Eastside Highway. Just for the record, I was not driving when I took this. I stopped the car (in the middle of the highway). There were no other cars within sight, so it was safe enough for that moment.
watercolor maybe
Because this was shot with my cell phone and then cropped down the resolution isn’t good, but I thought it kinda came out looking like a watercolor. I still like it, even though it’s just a cropped cell phone shot.

This was supposed to be a Berry Hat, but it came out looking more like a Tomato Hat, so I’m calling it a tomato. I think it’s cute as a tomato. It’s toddler-sized…now I need a toddler to model it…hmmm…how did my babies get so grown up that I can’t put toddler hats on them?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

What to do while waiting for the Super Bowl?

Make a baby hat! I wanted a quick, easy project for this afternoon, and I found this on 

Please forgive the less-than-stellar photos...I was having a lazy Sunday afternoon, and didn't take the time to really set things up properly. Here is the link to my project page on

Is it just my mood, or are the Super Bowl commercials disappointing this year?