Thursday, June 30

technical difficulties

Hello there and happy Thursday!

My computer/Photoshop and I are experiencing some technical difficulties. Don' you love it. Hopefully within a few days I'll have everything up and running once again!

Monday, June 27

little man


Max. He is growing up very quickly. He loves dinosaurs, Legos, & drawing. He talks. A lot. (Side story: Cora is a girl of few words. I keep wanting her to talk more. The other day my mom came over to help me work in the garden a little. Max talked nonstop the entire time. No joke. Mom just looked at me and said: "And you want the other one to talk?!" Good point. The poor girl doesn't have a chance to say much!)

Somedays we are best buds. Like yesterday: He "helped" me take Cora to the doctor for her eighteen month check-up. He was an absolute angel. Probably because Cora was screaming like a wild banshee. Behavior is relative.

Somedays we butt heads. Like when he desperately needs a nap and he fights me tooth and nail. Or argues with me. (This arguing thing is a new development. It can kindly leave any time.) Or, when my grandpa came over for a visit and he acted like a crazy child.

Max remembers everything. Retains everything. Do not promise that you will do something tomorrow if you do not intend on doing it. He will not forget. He says such funny things: "I have it under control." That is my current favorite.

I didn't think I would ever forget how he was as a baby. I do forget a little. That makes me a little sad, but he is filling my whole mind and heart with his grown up four-year-old self. I loved him fiercely as a baby, but I love him even more as a little man.

Sunday, June 26

favorite

A favorite shot of my Cora from this weekend:

For fun, here's the "pullback" shot:

Max and Cora playing hide and seek in his bed. (Note how I let Max tape random drawings and papers all over our house. They're in the living room too!)

They were both fresh out of the tub and smelling so good. I want to try more pictures like this soon. I think it would work better if the sheet was plain white. I don't know though...the little cars are pretty cute. Also, I might stage these pictures in a room that gets a little more light. The window by Max's bed is a south facing one, and I think maybe next time we'll move our post-bath hide and seek party to a western facing window. Follow the sun!

Thursday, June 23

friday find

This week's "Friday find" is food related, like last week's. I do like food!

On Wednesday, Max and I harvested some spinach from the garden. There wasn't tons, but enough to fill a regular size baggie. It was so fun plucking those little leaves! Max was so excited about it that he ate two raw spinach leaves. I almost fell over in shock. I made a huge deal about how fast he would be able to run after eating the two leaves.

I"ve seen a couple different recipes for smoothies with spinach. Yeah, right. That would be totally gross. Well, because we had this spinach that needed consumed, and I have two small children who love smoothies I decided to try one out.

We adapted a recipe found on Annie's Eats called the Green Monster Smoothie. Max was very fired up about it. I showed him the picture and he was even more fired up. It is very green! We stayed pretty close to the original recipe, except we omitted the pear because we didn't have one. (The recipe calls for pineapple, orange juice, banana, spinach, and honey.) We also added a little ice because we like the little ice crunchies in our smoothies. We are wild and crazy like that.

I must say, it was so good! It just tasted fruity, not spinachy. Ours turned out a really pretty and frothy light green. Delish! You should check out Annie's Eats...she's a fellow Hoosier. Gotta love that!

Tuesday, June 21

lora & brandon

Hello there! Today I want to share a few more photos from Lora and Brandon's beautiful wedding. I mentioned before, no detail was forgotten: every little thing was so neat! I seriously had the best time taking all these pictures. It helped a little that Lora's sister Lindsay is one of my "besties"! I felt so comfortable and relaxed all day. Well, until the hail...

Here are a few of my favorites!

Lora found this little ring box in a flea market (I think that's right) and the lady who sold it to her said that it was shaped like a little coffin to symbolize the man "losing his life." Funny. Love that blue inside!


Did I mention that I love the getting ready pictures? I do. Love love. (Warning: Lora, once you see all the pictures, you will see that there is a lot of makeup/hair/getting dressed shots. Your bedroom lighting was too pretty and I couldn't help myself!)

I think this might be my favorite of Lora. So pretty!

Strawberry ice cream for everyone! This was post rain/hail. Oh my goodness. I was a tad worried because it rained and hailed on our way to Cammack Station for pictures. Yikes. We waited it out, and the rain gave way to beautiful sunny skies.

I am such a sucker for painted buildings!

I love to take pictures of people when they are posing/smiling for someone else's camera:

Lora & Brandon: I can't thank you enough for trusting me with your wedding memories! I can't wait to show you everything I got!

Sunday, June 19

columbus

This weekend took us east to Columbus, Ohio for Andrew's cousin's wedding. A very beautiful wedding. I am kicking myself for not lugging my camera to the actual event because it was all so pretty! Live and learn. Take the camera everywhere! Andrew and I took the opportunity to explore Columbus's German Village while we were in town. Max and Cora were having fun at my mom's house--thanks Nana!-- so we had a leisurely time, just the two of us. Here's the highlights:

We started the day at the Coffee Shop. When we pulled up we saw several people waiting outside. That's always a good sign! It was a neat little diner. The sign said that they had the best club sandwich in town, so that's what I had. (Whenever someplace claims to have the best of something, I am always compelled to order that.) Andrew got breakfast stuff, including hash browns. If we ever go back I think I will just get a plate full of those...they were so good!

Next we visited the Book Loft: an independent bookstore that spanned an entire city block. Book heaven!

We wandered around for quite a while, and eventually picked out books for Max and Cora. I wanted to buy something to support this store: independent booksellers are so rare! I worked for an independent bookstore when I was in college, plus I adore the movie You've Got Mail. Therefore, we shopped and bought. Smile.


Ice cream time! I read about an artisanal ice cream place that started in Columbus called Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream. The flavors were interesting and different. After sampling a few, I decided on the strawberry buttermilk. Yummy!

While we were eating our ice cream, a nice man offered to take our picture. I am smiling on the outside, but on the inside I am thinking "Please don't steal my camera!" I am always worried about that. Turns out this man has a camera like mine. Thank you kind Sir! This is a very rare photo of Andrew and I together! (Note to self: trust others to take photos of us when we go places...)

Outside the ice cream shop there was a huge mural of Grant Wood's American Gothic. Love!

See...it was really big!

That was our weekend! We had a great time. Hope yours was great too!

Friday, June 17

friday find

For the past couple Fridays I have posted "finds". Week one was a new artist/blog/book I found and loved. Week two was a couple nests we found in the yard. I think I will continue with these "Friday find" posts. They are fun, and give me a little structure. Gotta love structure. I do. So, without further ado, today's find:

Kraft Light Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing. That's a mouth-full. This stuff is good! I bought a couple bottles of Kraft dressing the other day because I had a Target coupon and a regular coupon for them. Score! I decided to try something new. This dressing tastes like Chinese food. I don't know how else to describe it. So, if you are a fan of Chinese food, you would probably like this dressing. Here's a loose recipe for a perfect salad:

Marinate a chicken breast in the dressing for a few hours. Grill it, or put it on your handy dandy panini press. Slice up your chicken and toss with:

Romaine lettuce
Croutons
Red onions
Feta cheese
More dressing

Delicious! Now, it is a little bit on the stinky side (thanks to the red onions and feta cheese) so you might want to use caution and freshen your breath accordingly. (I love feta cheese by the way. I try to incorporate into as many meals as possible.) I was even mega-healthy the other day and just made a salad with the marinated chicken, lettuce and edamame. I know! I didn't even miss the cheese. Don't worry, I balanced off all the healthiness with two big bowls of Frosted Flakes and a S'more later that night.

There you have it, another Friday find. I feel like I need to go make a salad now. Wishing you happy weekend thoughts!

Thursday, June 16

this old house

Once upon a time there was an old house, with a lot of people sitting on the porch:

Time went on, and so did the old house.

The house still stands, and has many stories to tell:

How cool is this? Um, really cool. Here's the story on how I got my hands on these awesome pictures of our house:

We moved to this farm two years ago, in 2009. (I can't believe we've been here for two years!) On our property there is a trailer, where "Miss Laveda" lives. The farm has been her home for 70 years. Her late husband's great grandparents (I think I have that right) built the house. Wow! When we bought the house, it was part of the agreement that we would let Miss Laveda live up here on the hill as long as she was able. She is a sweetheart, sharp as a tack, and we love her.

Whenever people would visit our house for the first time, Andrew would drag out my laptop and show them the "before" pictures of the house. These weren't the cool old ones, just the ones I took of the house when we moved in. So, I had the idea that I should make him an album of the house and it's progress so he could show our guests an album instead of just pictures on the computer. One day I asked Laveda if she had any old pictures of the house. She didn't know where they were, but she said that her son-in-law George would have some. Did he ever!!! George is a fellow photo enthusiast, and one day he handed over an entire disc of goodies.

I have had the pictures since February, probably, and I just now gave the album to Andrew for his birthday last week. It was so hard to keep these a secret! Our home has such a history, and I am so lucky that I was able to collect some of it. As we do more and more work on the house (it still needs a lot!) we'll add it to our album. The story of our home.

After seeing the old pictures, I am more aware of how much work and how much our house has changed. I want to make all the changes and remodel everything right away, of course. Our entire upstairs needs to be gutted and re-done. I want a garage. I want to re-do the laundry room. The bathroom needs a total makeover. I want to start now! The photos remind me that we need to take our time, and love our home the way it is and appreciate how long it has been here. It is hard. I think it must be a "woman thing" to want our houses in order, right away.

Lately I am just loving this old house. I'm trying not to look at all the work I want to do, but look at all that has already been done. You've come a long way house!

Wednesday, June 15

coming along

I am loving the garden this year. I love the idea of the garden every year, but this year I am actually loving it. I am convinced: raised beds are the way to go!

The beds look so pretty all lined up. Sure, it was a pain to build them, (thanks Mom and Jerry!), and a pain to get them all filled with dirt. Now, all of the work is paying off. It is so fun to perch yourself on the edge of one of the beds and pluck away at the weeds. It is even a little relaxing! Last year, and the year before I didn't even want to go out to the garden because the weed situation was so overwhelming.

The plants seem so happy in their little beds too. Maybe it is because they are not being choked out by waist high weeds. That is a start anyway!

Sunday, June 12

wedding weekend

Hello, and happy Monday! I want to give a little preview from both of the weddings I photographed this weekend! Once I get everything all edited, I'll share more, but I couldn't wait. I read on a blog somewhere (I wish I could remember so I could properly credit my source) that digital photography is a lot like collecting sea shells: You spend the day filling up your basket with shells, then when you get home you dump them all out on your table to see what you got. So true! Over two days I filled up my camera with all kinds of images, and now I get to "dump them all out" and sift through them to see what beauties I found. These are a couple of my early favorite "sea shells":

Lora and Brandon's backyard wedding was so sweet. No detail was overlooked! We did have some challenging weather (downpours and hail!), but everything amazingly came together. This shot was taken in Cammack--a little town west of Muncie. Love love love.

Jami and Landon were so excited to be married--and you could feel their happiness all day. Check out their getaway car. So fun.

Just for kicks, here's a picture of me:

While in Cammack on Friday with Lora and Brandon we had some ice cream. Best idea ever. I think I took my best photos of the day while multitasking and eating an ice cream cone. Strawberry. Delicious!

Thursday, June 9

friday find

The other day the kids and I were headed out to the sandbox, and when we got there we found a tiny little bird's nest. It was just sitting there, right in the middle of the sandbox. It fit right in the palm of my hand. Of course I scooped that thing up out of the reach of Cora, who also goes by the name "Destructo" around here. She's a little rammy.

A couple days after the first nest find, my mom found second, even smaller one in the front yard right under one of our red maple trees. Two perfect little nests!

I put some buttons in one of them to try and portray their size a little better:

I love birds, so naturally I am so excited to have these little nests. I do feel bad that they just fell out of the trees, though. Some poor bird worked so hard on them! Have you ever took the time to really study a nest? They are amazing. I'm trying to figure out how I want to display them. Right now they are sitting on my cake plate in the cabinet. I tried to put them down in one of my jars, but you couldn't really see it very well. I held my breath when I was putting one down in the jar. It was kind of like a ship in a bottle situation: once I got in down in the jar, then realized I didn't like it, I wasn't sure how I was going to get it out. Luckily I got it back out and didn't have to crush the nest or break the jar. Whew.

I need to try and find one of those little cloche things. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled at future auctions for one. I think they would be so pretty under something like that.

Hope everyone has a great Friday and a happy weekend!

three things

1. So we have a little strawberry patch. It doesn't produce that many berries, and the ones that do come from it are very tiny. Tiny but really sweet. Usually we just pick them outside and munch on them right there. Warm strawberries from the garden are so fun and tasty. The other day while the kids were playing outside, I really searched in the patch and found quite a few:


2. This weekend I am going to shoot two weddings. Two! Today I am going to get myself all organized with all my gear, thoughts, etc. I get all wrapped up in the emotions of weddings. I absolutely love taking pictures of the bride getting ready. That is probably my favorite time of the wedding day. So much energy and excitement. Next week I'll do a couple wedding photo posts!

3. Have you ever gotten a little surprise in the mail or a gift just the moment you needed it? My sweet blog friend Lindsay sent me a gift in the mail, and it made my day yesterday. My Max and I had been through a rough afternoon (a nap was needed, and didn't happen. Those of you with children know that this can be a recipe for a major meltdown!), and I was exhausted. When Andrew got home, he forgot to get our mail, so I said I'd run down and get it. Literally run. I needed out. So I put on my shoes and took a little run. (Now, our driveway is long and has hills, so it is more of a workout than you might think!) When I got to the mailbox a wonderful little package waited for me: a new camera strap cover in a lively lemon yellow. Just what the doctor ordered. Thank you, Lindsay! I wanted to take a picture of my new camera strap cover, but I was so excited when I got it that I put it on my camera right away. It is hard to take a picture of something that is attached to the back of your camera...)

Tuesday, June 7

experimenting

I promised myself that I could have a little "fun time" at the studio today. As in: yes, I really have many other things that are more pressing, but I really want to experiment with something else. Just for fun. What!?

Amazing. When you allow yourself to have fun, fun usually follows. I painted and did a little collage stuff on a photograph. This was an "old" photograph, so it was pretty low pressure. I wasn't too worried about how it turned out.

I have a whole stack of old books and fun papers that I've collected from few auctions. I love going though those old papers and reading all the notes and looking at all the drawings. I have a little folder of papers from what looks like a young lady's high school foods class. Notes on how to make cakes, how to plan a menu, etc. My favorite thing from this little collection was an actual test on how to bake cakes. It was so neat. (I probably loved it because I took foods class in high school and it was one of my most favorite classes. I enjoyed it and had so much fun! I still use the "electric mixer yeast dough" recipe every year at Christmas!)

The photograph has been mounted on a "clay board", which is like a very sturdy little panel primed with gesso. They are great for collage because they don't bend or warp, and they can take a lot of abuse.

Now, if you do like this little photo/mixed media painting and cannot imagine your life without it, I have listed it in my etsy shop. If it doesn't sell I will just keep it in my window sill to remind myself to let myself have a little fun! (There is also a simple photo version of this--what it started out like before I doctored it all up--in the shop too. It looks a little more "vintage" than this one, but it is the same original photograph.)

Monday, June 6

feels like summer


We had a good weekend full of bucket sitting (see photo), strawberry picking, working in the garden, etc. Speaking of the garden: our tomatoes are looking awesome, the green beans and spinach are up, and the melons appear to be happy. My sunflowers haven't appeared yet, but I'm sure they will. I've never tried growing spinach before, but I thought it was worth a try! So far, the raised garden beds are working good. I promise I'll share a photo soon. We have a little clean-up yet to do yet before it is show-and-tell worthy.

I am loving this summer feeling. Relaxing around home and working in the garden is my idea of summer. Add some popsicles and ice cream and it's even better!

Thursday, June 2

friday find

I recently stumbled upon a new artist who's work I really love. Sarah Ahearn Bellemare. I can't remember how exactly I found her--you know how you'll be looking at a blog, then you click a link, then another, and then you end up somewhere? Well, I was intrigued by her use of collage, especially the use of photographs in her paintings.

Look...she has a book too! Fun times. I must say, that I love it. I haven't really had a chance to read much, but the photos alone, and the style of the book are just fresh and beautiful. It even smells nice! Do you ever smell books or magazines? I do. I think that is how you can tell that you have a real book problem...

Lately I have been focusing a lot on photography and less on painting. I think that painting became so labored for me, and the work I was making showed that. I was frustrated a lot. In painting classes in college, there were things that made a painting "good", and things that made it "bad". I got to where I thought everything I made was a little more on the "bad" side. It probably wasn't really, but in my mind I over thought it so much that it became that way. Then, I was trying to make money with my paintings. That is a surefire way to think that your work is bad! I lost all my painting joy. I haven't even really wanted to paint in a long time. That was until I saw this:

My heart skipped a little when I saw these pages! It made me miss my paints. So, I think I might just make something for me soon. Something for my own home. I think that on my next "studio day" I will make a little time for experimenting and having fun.

Check out Sarah Ahearn Bellemare's blog, and her book. Hope you have a great weekend. Paint something or just have fun!

Wednesday, June 1

painting

Cora had her first painting experience the other morning. I remember Max's first painting. He was a little more tentative than Cora. She tackled painting like she does many other things! Cora loved it, and she loved the black especially. You'll see.


I didn't think I'd have to worry about lipstick until much later...



Her little jammies are permanently stained. Darn. I don't mind too much. I wised up and the second time she painted I had her wear a paint shirt, and I took the black out of her paint set. I hope that it doesn't crush her creativity too much! I just love these pictures. As a mom it is so fun to see your children absorbed in something that is new and fresh to them! Little hands on paintbrushes. Love it.