Wednesday, December 15, 2010

NVS December Challenge!

The collage for this month had lots of bright colors and somewhat of an 80's look to it. I really had a hard time coming up with something. I kept looking at it and thinking. I finally grabbed a picture and tried to let it take me somewhere. The inspiration is pretty obvious...the yellow belt, the blue from the skirt, the peach from the shoes and the awesome quote.

I really think the layout is unfinished. My friend has a dog that loves squirrels and I think it needs a picture of him either laying across the top of "I love you" looking down or jumping up in the left corner. I have no pictures of the dog, though, so, this is my layout for the month. I had originally left all the bling off, but it just looked rather simple. It is still very simple. Who knows, maybe I'll add to it!

Now it's your turn. Take from it what you will (the colors, the patterns, the objects, etc.) and do what you do! Remember, you DO NOT have to create a collage yourself (that's old skool anyway)...just take inspiration from this one and create whatever it is you want. Then post it at Nerdy Victorious Scrapbookers! You could win this fabulous prize from Candy Shop Designs!

And, tell your friends about it!! If there aren't enough players, you don't win a prize!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A study in low light, no flash

A friend convinced me to attend a Level Up Beat Down band practice while on Thanksgiving break. Even though there was no heat in the little room and I sat snuggled in my big coat, scarf and gloves, it turned out to be a good experience. It seemed too intrusive to use flash and there was only one little lamp in the room, so I played around. I upped the ISO to 3200, an option I did not have on my previous camera. It makes the pictures really grainy, but I was actually able to take pictures without flash. Here's the best of the bunch.
This first one was taken with an 800 ISO. I like the blurriness, although you can tell I wasn't holding the camera steady because the microphone is blurred too.

The only semi-good picture I was able to get of Russ. He was too close to me.

I took many pictures of the single light in the room. It photographed well and was visually interesting.

I think you can tell in every picture I have of Stephen that he loves to play the bass and he is very photogenic.

I tried to get some good drumsticks moving pictures, but it didn't work so well with the limited amount of light. I did like that I got the little band drawing Mic did in this picture.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

South Beach, Pt. Reyes

I had a day off for Veteran's Day and decided to get out of the house. My goal was to reach the Point Reyes Lighthouse, but I didn't know how far it was and didn't think to fill the car with gas. When the needs gas light came on, I decided to find a place to stop, not sure that I could make it to the lighthouse and then to a gas station. I found South Beach. It's a small little beach, which had about 10 people visiting it. I grabbed my deli sandwich, my journal and my IPOD. It was nice to have some beach time. The weather this year kept me from my usual beach outings. After lunch, I grabbed my camera and took a walk.

I really like how the fog and the clouds blend into one in this picture. It really was a beautiful day. I brought a jacket, but it stayed in the car. This picture is the physical reminder I have of a calm, relaxing, slow-moving, thoughtful day. I need more days like this.

I couldn't decide if I liked the picture with my shoes in focus or the one with the shoes out of focus. Although, the colors in the first one are a lot better. I really liked this idea. Now to find a beach that doesn't have a curved road leading to it.

I like how the focus is on the street reflectors. There's a lot of possibility in this picture. Will you ever get to the beach? Does the road curve away or towards it? You just don't know. That's what I like about it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Meet ...Level Up Beat Down...

Level Up Beat Down is the hubbies new band. They played their first gig at the Phoenix in Petaluma Saturday night. They seemed to have a lot of fun and played a solid show. There were a couple of tunes I recognized and to my relief their music is more accessible than his last two bands. My pictures are only ok, I need to get used to the new camera. It seems that I also forgot how to shoot in low light. I've been busy taking photographs outside. There are also things I could do with the D70 that I have to read the manual for on the new camera. I'm so lazy.

First up...Mic...Drummer Divine...

Russ...Singer Superb, Guitarist Glorious ...

Stephen...Bassist Brilliant

I saved Stephen for last because this is my current favorite band photo. I just love the lighting on this. I'm not sure about the focus. I think it makes more sense to have what he's looking at in the photo. But, it does add a little bit of mystery to it. The picture of Andrew with the light on him and his drums is still my top favorite.

Can't forget the token group shot.

You'll be seeing more of these guys, as their booking shows like they haven't played in years.

NVS November Challenge!

Nerdy*Victorious*Scrapbookers just posted their challenge for this month! It is rather simple, but the nerdy girls used the design, colors, the small pictures and the title for inspiration. What will you use? This is the collage for the month:

Here's my take:

I started with the design first. I wanted something that had 3 little photos and a bigger one. I used the title and the wording. It's the first time I put my journaling over other words. I think it worked fine being bright red. You can't really tell, but I painted over the wordy patterned paper with a pearly white paint.

What is your take on the collage? Visit NVS for more inspiration and then pull out that patterned paper and glue dispenser! I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


I had the joy of seeing the state of Arizona for the first time. It was wonderfully hot and three days there just wasn't enough. We went for my husband's cousin's wedding, but had a little time and a rental car to do some exploring.

Botanical Gardens
The cacti had many flowers and the contrast between the flowers and the sharp spines was an obvious picture of my life - lots of harshness with a bit of beautiful mixed in. I think it's why I took so many pictures. This I thought was the best. I'm working on trying to see more beauty in my everyday life.

In the midst of all the cacti was a little butterfly world. They had misters in this world, which made it feel a bit cooler than the surrounding areas. The butterflies just sat there, waiting to be photographed.

This little guy quickly became my friend. I took many pictures of him because he just sat there and smiled. He must have thought that I was just as interesting as I thought he was.

A spiny little cactus amidst the rocks.

Papago Park - This is my new favorite place in Arizona. Not that I've been to a lot of places in Arizona. This part of the park is literally called Hole in the rock. It's a very short "hike" to the top. I don't think you can really call it a hike because there are actually stairs carved into the rock. You sit right in the middle of the hole and an amazing breeze blows right through as you stare at the vast flatness that is Arizona. It was the highlight of my trip and worth every penny for the rental car.

I have also added a new favorite tree to my list of favorite trees. I just like them all! The Palo Verde is the state tree of Arizona. It is an amazing tree. It has green bark because it has chlorophyll in it. If it gets too dry and the leaves fall off, it is still able to make its' own food. Amazing! Here I am looking at the teeny, tiny leaves. I just adored the tiny leaves.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Yep. Prizes for participating in the October Nerdy Victorious Scrapbookers Challenge!

All you have to do is make a creation inspired by this:

Then post a link at NVS. Then you could win this:

Follow a link to see the fabulous creations made by the design team for even more inspiration. Now hurry! You can't win if you don't participate!

Friday, October 8, 2010

NVS Challenge!!

Nerdy, Victorious Scrapbookers are back! Here's the wonderfully nerdy collage for the month of October:

I loved that peacock and tried to work with it, but couldn't find the patterned paper I knew that I had with a peacock on it. Oh, the sadness of owning too much paper! So, the colors are what truly inspired my layout this time. It really made me think of Autumn. I decided to go digital this time. I'm a newbie with digital scrapbooking, so my layout is rather simple. I think it works for this picture. I took a picture of my street during the fall and the picture turned out fantastic. I let that be the focus. I tried to work some peacockish looking swirls in to further use inspiration from the collage.

Now it's your turn. Use the collage, use my layout, look at the layouts produced by the nerdy girls at Nerdy*Victorious*Scrapbookers and post a link to your creation. It doesn't have to be a layout. It can be any crafty thing you are inspired to make! Let's see those creations!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Back in Business!

My new camera has arrived!! I'm going to have to develop some muscles to use this powerful piece of photographic beefiness. I am a Nikon devotee and was debating replacing my stolen D70 with either a D90 or D300. After waffling for quite some time, my husband talked me into the D300. It will have a learning curve. There's so much I can do with it and it will really push me to be more creative and knowledgeable. It is quite a bit heavier with the metal casing instead of plastic, but that also makes it a lot more weather proof. It has so many buttons, right now, I can figure out about 1/3 of them on my own. Hopefully I can develop into a photographer worthy of such a tool. With that, here are the first pictures with the new camera!

Bees and Basil - Bees are extremely difficult to photograph, especially at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. They are busy and in almost constant movement. I also met a nice little spider, actually he's rather large, and he was really enjoying all the bees present.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Really missing my camera

I've completed my 2009 scrapbook. It is a great sense of accomplishment. Now I have nothing to scrapbook because I haven't printed any pictures from 2010. I'm also feeling lost without a camera. There's this lovely, special photo shoot I've had planned for several weeks now, but I have no camera! Well, I have a film camera that a co-worker has let me borrow. But, it won't work for the shoot I have planned. I need digital! I was trying to wait for the insurance; however, I think the insurance is trying to see what the investigation comes up with. And, as much as I watch CSI, real investigations are apparently nothing like CSI. They have not wrapped up our robbery in an hour. Heck, it's taken a couple of weeks to work through the fingerprints. I may only be able to last a little longer without a precious digital camera. There are fleeting moments I need to capture!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Realization of Friendship!

After being robbed, it's a horrible feeling to leave your house and return again. I'm not sure when that feeling, as I open the door of dread, will leave. I actually breathe a sigh of relief when I enter and see everything in its correct place.

Friends, neighbors and coworkers were very supportive. Everyone asks how we're doing and if we've heard anything yet (nope). We made new friends with a neighbor about 4 houses down the street. She has this amazing son that has such a wonderful heart. I'm so glad the incident introduced us.

I even had one co-worker give me an old film camera that "he just had sitting around". I haven't taken any pictures yet. The film concept seems so foreign after several years of digital. I will though. I'm afraid of the outcome, but also remember the excitement of not knowing exactly what you were going to get when you picked up your prints!

We are also going to use this as a way to upgrade my DSLR. I had a wonderful Nikon D70. It took great photos and I learned so much while I had it. I'm now looking at D90. One thing to be thankful for is that they didn't take my back pack full of lenses. Replacing the camera will be much easier than replacing the lenses I had gotten as presents or saved up for. And, the D90 works with all of them!

Not sure when I'll order a new camera. Definitely before the wedding we have to go to in October. So, the blog may be picture-less until then.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Terrible News

Our house was broken into yesterday. While they took every single dang camera I owned, what is really upsetting is that strangers were wondering my safe haven while we weren't home and how unbelievably easy it was for them to get in! But, we're turning this stressful situation into a positive one. Several wonderful neighbors and friends came or called to check on us and even offered a place to sleep for the night. One neighbor and her son think they may have saw the teenagers who did it and came forward to talk to the police. It takes situations like this to realize that there are more people that have your back than you may think!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Catching up...

I've been waiting for my headmistress to put up the new challenge at Nerdy Victorious Scrapbookers. I hope everything is going OK for her.
I am almost finished with my 2009 scrapbook!! I just need to get a couple more page protectors and choose a picture for the front cover! I'm hoping to have it finished before I have to go back to work on Wednesday. I'll post pics of the finished album when it's all done.
I'll leave you with a little scrapiness for now...
This is a digital page I did for the 2009 album. The goal was to include as many pictures as possible, so it is not the most creative page but, it fit my purpose. I'm still trying to figure out the whole digital world.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Depth of Field

Prompt 7 for Shimelle's class was to play around with depth of field. This, I think, is the easiest photography concept to understand. A large depth of field is when everything is in focus. A shallow depth of field is when a small part of the photo is in focus and the rest is out of focus. Easy enough right? Large depth of field - large area in focus, small depth of field - small area in focus. I tend to shoot with a shallow depth of field. This is in part to the fact that I use a zoom lens but, also because I think it puts more focus on the subject. Now, I tend to shoot small objects and people, which work well with a shallow depth of field. I shoot less landscapes, which typically work well with a large depth of field.

I chose two photos to show this concept. They are both of the same thing. It is a centerpiece I made using a Jenni Bowlin kit. I took it outside to shoot in natural light and after several variations, found the wagon sitting next to the fence with grapevines and thought it would be perfect!

The first one shows a narrow depth of field, while the second shows a large depth of field. This was all done by changing the opening of the aperture. The first had a large aperture opening - F2. The second had a small aperture opening - F22. You, of course, can get varying degrees of depth of field by changing the aperture opening. It's why I typically choose to shoot in aperture priority.
Which do you prefer? I like the one with a shallow depth myself but, photography is an art, and art is subjective!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


You still have plenty of time to play along with the nerdy girls. Take a look at this collage:

You know it inspires you and makes you want to create. You know you have some great pictures that are begging you to use them a girly girly way. Pull them out and get scrapping! Currently, there are only 2 entries. That means your chance of winning a fabulous prize pack is VERY GOOD indeed!!
So grab your pictures, grab your materials, scrap your little, crafty heart out and post your layout here: Nerdy*Victorious*Scrapbookers

On a side note...I managed to blog everyday for a week : ) Woohoo!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Ah...the lazy days of summer. I am loving having time to actually play with my camera, photoshop and blogging.
Prompt 12 for Shimelle's class is about adding texture to your photos. I had many new experiences with this one: using flikr, playing with layers, adding texture to a photo.

To do this, I first searched flikr for "bokeh texture". Bokeh is that dreamy circles created in the part of the picture that is out of focus. You can create this in the camera or you can add it. I added it over some subtle texture that was already there!

I've never done this before and really wanted to play around, so I did it three times with 3 different textures on the same photo.
This was my first attempt. I used a texture from e.kristina . I covered the whole picture with it then used the darken mode. You not only see it on the right hand side but, in the left corner as well.

For my next attempt, I used a texture from shironekoeuro . This one, I only used on the right side of the photo. I then used the eraser tool and erased the dark part off the banister.

For my last attempt, I used a texture from inspire*dream*create*
I also only used it on the right side of the photo. I had a more difficult time erasing parts I didn't want. I think the colors on this one are more suitable to the photo though.

I'll have to make time to play around with this more. There were a couple of music page textures that I tried to make work with this photo, but they didn't. I'll keep that in mind for future pictures!

I've never given credit to files on flikr before. Will someone please let me know if I did it correctly? Thanks for stopping by!