Monday, December 31, 2012

All that sparkles...

On a recent cloudless and very cold night I took my newest camera out to explore my world. Night photography has a few inherent challenges, ie it's dark. Photography is greek for "painting with light" or at least that's what it says on the internet. So it is difficult to manage clear "hand held" photograpy, because just breathing can produce camera shake. The reason you get fuzzy pictures is because you have to leave the shutter open a long time to collect "light". Here are some of my results.
Another fun aspect with night photography is water. With reflection you can double your impact.
I prefer to start my night photography a little early, just at dusk. I really like the results. Another key for night photography is to "slow" down your "film". ( yes, I shoot digitally) It means bumping your ISO up to the big numbers. You do run the risk of catching some "noise" but you manage to get clean edges.
So if you have no idea what shutter speed is, and have no desire to compensate for shake by upping you ISO, then it's okay to just say, "Ooooh, pretty."and take my word for all the other stuff. In any case, may 2012 slip quietly into the night and may 2013 find you stretching to reach your goals, and living the abundant life full of all of the things you love.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I miss my neighbors

So a number of years ago, as neighbors we decided to pool our resources and use the money we would've spent on "neighbor" gifts as a resource to provide Christmas for a number of families in need. It's been a success for a number of years. But you know what? I miss the mini visits with my neighbors to drop off holiday cheer. With the days so short and the nights so dark and cold you just don't see your neighbors as often. I miss them.
With that in mind, I started baking and creating and well I've probably gotten a little carried away. I'll have to share my bounty with my neighbors anonymously, just like when I ditch zucchini's on their porch in the fall and run away. If any of the following goodies get delivered to your house, I just don't know how it was possible, but don't check your bushes too carefully because I'm just trying to catch a glimpse of you, just like a stalker.
I can't wait for the spring, when the weather allows us to spend more time outdoors where we can lean on the fence and converse and catch up with neighbors.

Until then, these visions of sugar may dance in your heads and on your front porch, but I have no idea where they came from.
Merriest Christmas and have a Happy, sparkle, Do-over, shiny, blank canvas, full of promise, hopeful, brand spankin' New Year.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Need is the "mother" of invention

So I'm a collector. I'm not real fussy about what I collect, but I kind of like excess in most all things. But that is another confession. So I had more jewelry than I knew what to do with. I had a very dear friend that for a time created me one of a kind semi-precious stone jewelry. I have bracelets, earrings and necklaces, oh my. Last year for Christmas I took a number of them that I planned to "retire" and invited my daughters to take the one they liked the best. I mean why wait until I'm gone to "cash" in on my goods, right? It's way more fun for me to see them wearing them while I'm alive then after I'm gone, I'm guessing. So anyhow, that didn't really reduce my inventory by very much.
So on any given day, this is the pile up on my dresser. I tried to condense it, organize it, make it more presentable.
I invested in ice cube trays, but the clutter continued. So then I was inspired by something I saw on pinterest, but I made a few modifications as you will see.
This is the end product, it's nearly finished. I just need to hang it on the wall. Here's how it was done. Notice I didn't say, how I did it? Because I relied heavily on my handy husband.
These are stretcher boards that you find in the craft store in the painting supply aisle. You purchase the sides individually so you can create any size you want. A little wood glue and a rubber mallet and they are all snug waiting for the next step.
This is your regular go to the feed store and buy chicken wire, chicken wire. It comes in 24 foot lengths, which had my handy husband considering chickens as a side hobby because he didn't want the extra to go to waste.

Next came the creative part. I used a mixed media approach to decorating the wood stretcher boards. By mixed media, I mean that I couldn't decide so I just experimented with tissue paper, cotton fabric and scrap book paper. All secured under a layer of modpodge, just because.
I had hinges on one side and this fun little clasp to keep it closed on the other side.
And so now I have no fuss way to hang all my bracelets, necklaces and earrings. The great thing about the chicken wire is the holes are big enough you can get your fingers through to connect anything you want. Now about that empty space on my dresser? I wonder what could go there?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

16 days does not equal a month

So I had a really good plan. I would blog everyday and share with you just what I was thankful for, because surely I could commit to 30 days right? WRONG. I really do have commitment issues. It's one of the many reasons I don't seek therapy. In order to seek therapy you have to (1) want to change. (2) be willing to follow a plan. (3) expect to see results. Truth be told I'm a closet crazy person, because I keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results.
So as far as commitment goes, I'm happily married for nearly 30 years. I've worked for the same corporation for more than 24 years. I've had the same faith and belief in God since before I was 8. But I can't commit to (1) a fitness program. (2) a diet or food plan of any kind. (3) taking supplements on a regular basis.
I had a milestone birthday this year and I'm really proud of the fact that I am still currently drug free. I get no prescriptions refilled every month. It sounds like a big deal I know. The truth is, even if I needed meds I wouldn't consistantly take them. It's just not in my nature. I'm too busy pursuing the next bright and shiny thing.
Speaking of bright and shiny things. Check out these.
These are the two newest Christmas ornaments that will hang from my yet to be purchased tree. I'm quirky enough that those that know me just smile and shake their heads and need no further information about why I would choose these particular ornaments.
They have a story though. This year, my next is only 1/2 full. My 2 unmarried children will be home for Christmas. Kat and Chad will be in Alaska, thus the moose. Amber, Paul and the 4 cutest grandboys you have ever seen will be in Missouri, near St. Louis, the home of the cardinals. Thus the bright red bird. Makes perfect sense to me, how about you?