Monday, January 31, 2011

Shoot & Edit: "Red" (SOOC)

So here's the photo I think I want to use in the Shoot & Edit challenge this week. It's of the garage at my parent's house that they turned into a studio apartment. It is made to look like an old barn. Orginaly it was used to hold my dad's old car and I remember "helping" him build it when I was little. I lived here for years after college.

It was so fun taking photos of red in this snowy New England winter that it was hard to decide which "red" photo to here are a few others I might play around with too. I took many of these at my parent's house.

This photo is of thier pellet stove with the red kettle on top of it and the red candles in the background. My parent's have a lot of red in their house and I love how it looks against all the wood. Cary and I bought my dad this kettle for Christmas one year because of how much they enjoy red, especially for the kitchen. You'll see why in the next photo.

Sony DSC-HX1: 1/40 f3.2 ISO160
My parent's have this amazing red, iron sink in thier kitchen. I have always loved it! It is so unique. This isn't the best photo of it which is why I might edit it. It is one of those things I will always remember about the house I grew up in but it is neglected in photos. I don't think I had ever thought to photograph it before. So here it is...

Sony DSC-HX1: 1/20 f2.8 ISO400
This last picture isn't great. I was playing around with manual mode on the camera this morning photographing a mini rose plant I bought at the grocery store yesterday. Not great but maybe worth practicing on.
Sony DSC-HX1: 1/3 f 8.0 ISO 200
That's it for now!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Shoot & Edit: Good Night (edited)

Good Night: DSC-HX1 1/25 f3.2 25.4mm ISO1600
Here is my edited version of my  photo for the Shoot & Edit Challenge. I am still just using Picasa and Picnik. I am planning on downloading a trial version of PS Elements based on fellow bloggers suggestions and advice which I really appreciate! I was not happy with the SOOC version of this photo. I used the auto setting on my camera which I usually like, but because this was taken in a darker room with no flash it set the ISO high. I am only just beginning to learn about those settings but I do know that an ISO that high is going to result in a grainy photo. And this one certainly is. So I decided in editing to use that and go with a black and white version. Those shots can be grainier and it adds to them. I also played around with a red-orange filter while setting it to black and white in Picnik. I am still not 100% sure what that means or how it effects the photo specifically but I like the effect. I'm following the editing tutorials only slightly on the challenges. I am learning all the possibilities but only applying a few things. Mostly I am playing around with settings right now and seeing what they do as more of an experiment. Then going back and reading the tutorials more carefully to learn more.
Today I took a few photos for the next challenge...Red. I'm excited about this one. A fun challenge during a very snowy, white, New England winter!
Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Shoot & Edit: Good Night (SOOC)

Good Night: DSC-HX1 1/25 f3.2 25.4mm ISO1600
This is my photo for this week's Shoot & Edit challenge. The theme was what means "Good Night" to you. This is a terrible picture. I used the auto mode on the camera and the ISO is very high and so the photo is grainy. But in the interest of working with editing and learning some things I decided to stick with this photo.

I also decided to stick with this photo because of what it represents to me. My guy is away at an Army school. He has been gone for 2 1/2 months and will be gone for at least another 2 months. Every night we talk on the phone. That is so important to me. He finally caved and bought a cell phone before he left so we could keep in contact easier. That way if I need him even when he is at school I can at least leave him a message. It makes the distance a little easier to bear. So I decided to take a photo of my phone on my pillow. I miss him terribly and this chance to have him be the last person I talk to each night means everything. Also...incidentally....on Saturday I dropped my old phone in a puddle. May it RIP. It didn't recover. Since I don't have a landline and with everything going on with my family and my guy being gone I needed to get my hands on a new one ASAP. I splurged a little. I usually buy the cheap phones. But I got myself the nice one. A Sprint HTC Evo. I had some rebates so the phone itself was expensive but still do-able. I was nervous about signing up for a more expensive plan but I am eligible for a discount so it ended up only being $10 more a month. I have to admit...I love it :) So fun!

Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

fair isle

These are my sister's birthday present! I am so excited about them! In the past few weeks my mom quickly showed me how to do Fair Isle. Basically I wanted to know where to hold the yarn. Then on an on-line video I taught myself to use both my right and left hand to hold the yarn. I love these! The pattern was really simple and a great way to learn. It is out of a book that I love: 60 Quick Knits with Cascade 220 yarn. Easy patterns and very nice, reasonably priced yarn. I am pleased with the color combination I chose. Now I'm trying to finish up a simple hat that is using just the light blue color yarn. That may not be done in time! Her birthday is monday but we are having a family dinner tomorrow.

Off to finish knitting!
Happy Saturday!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Shoot & Edit: Good Morning (edited)

Good Morning: DSC-HX1 1/60 f4 25.4mm ISO400
So I have discovered editing! I might be addicted. I have never really done much with photo editing before but I am amazed! I am especially liking it on photos taken with my old camera that came out kind of dark. Lightening up the image a little makes such a difference and saves the pictures. Anyhow...this is my edited version of my first entry for the Shoot & Edit challenge "Good Morning." I'm just using Picasa and Picnik because I don't have PS or Elements yet. I am hoping to though. I'm thinking of going with Elements. What are your recommendations?

On my edit I played around with contrast, shadows & highlights, exposure and the white balance. The white balance tool is great! Why didn't I discover that sooner?! I kind of wanted a vintage-y feel with the photo. I am liking how it turned out.

So here in Massachusetts I am having a snow day. The two classes I teach this semester were cancelled. This was going to be the first day of each class. I'm teaching two back-to-back on Fridays so unfortunately this snow day puts us a bit behind. But I'm not gonna complain! It gives me a little time on campus Monday to really prepare. With everything going on with my dad I am truthfully a little behind. I am a virgo perfectionist and hate that feeling of not being completely ready for something.

I am hoping to use my day to relax. I want to finish knitting my sister's birthday present...I'll post the finished products this weekend. I am so excited about them! Tonight I am supposed to pick her up and bring her to my parent's for the weekend to visit with our dad...if I can get out. Tomorrow, after getting new tires put on my car, I have Girl's Night with my friends and Sunday we are celebrating my sister's birthday. I'm looking forward to a happy weekend.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Shoot & Edit: Good Morning

Good Morning: DSC-HX1 1/60 f4 25.4mm ISO400

Through Sarah C's blog I found out about:

forever never n always photography

This should be a perfect opportunity for me to practice with my new camera. My guy gave me a beautiful camera (Sony CyberShot DSC-HX1) for Christmas. I had my last camera for 10+ years and loved it. But it was a pretty basic digital. Over that time I have grown to love photography. This new camera isn't an SLR (too high of a learning curve for me right now and way to expensive) but it is an advanced point and shoot. So I have been playing around with the manual mode and aperature only mode. I love it! He knew I had been eyeing one for a long time so he did some research and had this one sent to me while he is at his military school.

So there is my photo for this week's challenge. I believe I just had the camera on auto mode for this picture. So I didn't do any of the settings myself.  I don't have photoshop so I'm not sure I will be able to do the "edit" portion of challenges right now. I have Picasa which can do some limited editing. So I'll do what I can with that for now. I am hoping to put aside a little money next month to get myself an inexpensive version of photoshop.
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 17, 2011

monday gratitudes

Today I am grateful...
  • I forgot my mom didn't have school today so I showed up at my parent's at 6:30 am to spend the day with my dad. I got to spend some time with both of them!
  • For the walks I have taken with dad over the past few days. Each day he gets a little stronger. We'll find out this week what steps need to be taken next.
  • For my friends. New and old. I am grateful for my group of girlfriends from high school. It seems that our connections increase as we get older and the challenges get bigger.
  • I am also grateful for the friends I have made through this blog. I feel as though I have known these girls for so long and yet we have never met. I appreciate thier kind words and the creative inspirations they share on thier blogs.
  • That Trader Joes has such beautiful flowers at such a reasonable price.
  • I found Trader Joe's Salt & Pepper potato chips (thanks to my brother!)...mmmmm.....
  • I can be assertive.
  • For my warm apartment.
  • To hear old family stories about the personalities and relationships that have shaped who I am and where I came from.
Today I finished up part of my sister's birthday present (I gave a sneak preview here). I am blocking them and will share the finished product this week! I also finished up the Tuesday Night Cowl that I started a year ago. I have been trying to work through some old projects and use up what I have before I keep buying new yarn.

Though I kind of cheated when I bought the yarn for my sister's presents.

Anyhow. I will share photos in a day or two.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

knitting sneak preview

A sneak preview of my sister's Birthday present I'm working first time doing Fair Isle! My mom taught is so much fun!

Had a really nice weekend. Took my dad out for a walk on Friday, shopping with my brother and sister Friday night and a somewhat extravagent fondue dinner out with my cousin and friends on Saturday night. Today I spent more time with my family for Sunday dinner and gave my sister a ride home. Now it's laundry and a quiet night. I am probably the only New Englander not glued to the Pats game tonight. Hoping to do some more work on my sister's birthday present.

I have not scrapped in months. I really want to. I need to get some photos printed out soon and sit down to work. Maybe in a few weeks I'll have some girlfriends over to scrap...that will help me get back into a groove. I have been spending most of my free time with my dad and family since Christmas. I may still be doing that for awhile. So knitting has been an artistic outlet for me. But I need a little more art of some sort. It is my therapy.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, January 14, 2011

live the questions

snowy tunnel road
So much going on that I wish would not be. I am trying hard to keep things in perspective. Not worry until I have to. But really? I need a break. It is nice to be with my dad today. He is doing a bit better. I got some work done on my syllabii for the start of the semester next Friday.Tonight I am picking up my sister and we are going to the mall for awhile. Tomorrow I'm meeting my cousin and some of her friends for dinner. Good things.

This is as poem that helps me when I am feeling uncertaintly and worry...

...I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903
in Letters to a Young Poet

Here's to a Happy Friday...

Monday, January 10, 2011

monday gratitudes

the backyard at my parent's
Today I am grateful for:

  1. advances in medical treatment (see this post)
  2. snow
  3. seeing a fox today in the snow
  4. knowing how to knit
  5. jeapordy
  6. growing up in the woods
  7. passing my licensure exam
  8. birds
  9. my visit with cary
  10. my family
Spending the day with my dad. Back to work tomorrow.
Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Life has been a roller coaster. That is why I haven't blogged since before the holidays. I had a peaceful Christmas with my family. However my parent's were waiting two days to tell my brother, sister and I some upsetting medical news about my dad. They told us the day after Christmas. By Tuesday he was having surgury. That was the day I was orignally scheduled to leave for Missouri to visit Cary. I delayed my trip until Wednesday. Fortunately the blizzard made it easier to do this. I couldn't not be with my family through this. My dad had setbacks over the week. Meanwhile I experienced my first tornado while on the base. Yikes.

Fast forward a week.

My dad is home. He is getting a little stronger each day. We have a few weeks before we find out what his next steps will be. I am spending my days off from the school with him. My family is pulling together. I so wish Cary were home.

Thinking positive. Hoping for all good things.

Yesterday I passed my state counseling licensure exam. That is a major milestone for me. I have been working for 10 years to jump through hoops to get in a position to take that test and apply for licensure. I should have the hours to apply by mid-February.

So there is good in the dark.

I hope to post some pictures of the holiday and my visit with Cary this week. He gave me a new camera for Christmas and I love it. So fun to practice.

Happy Sunday!


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