Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pretty Little Things

Here are some pretties for you today... Went to our local tulip festival over the weekend.

There are fields all over just covered with tulips and daffodils. I've been a million times and each year is like seeing it for the first time. It is truly beautiful...

Photographer in training... working on her composition












I threw homework out the window and had a fun little weekend. Sometimes that just needs to be done. A weekend spent wandering around tulip fields and antique stores, taking photos and eating ice cream can do wonders for the soul...not to mention getting your creative juices flowing again.

Only about 7 weeks left until I graduate!! I have a big portfolio presentation to prepare for at the end of the quarter and my website to put together. Which is exactly why I went to the Tulip Festival. Makes perfect sense...no?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today Special For You...




While I was getting ready this morning, little bob came running in excitedly to tell me about this cool thing she was seeing on TV. "Look mommy, Look!!!" I ran out expecting to see Barney and some fun song or those creepy folks on that show Lazy Town...but that is a whole other story. Anyhoo, LB wanted to show me the Woolite Oxy Clean on TV. She says... "look mommy, they say it will make our carpets really clean?" Um...yah. So I don't know if I'm more horrified by the fact that LB is so easily and readily swayed by advertising on TV at the tender age of 5 1/2 OR the fact that our carpets must be SO dirty in her mind that she needs to drag me to the TV to tell me about carpet cleaner...?

Recognizing this, I decide to turn this into a life lesson and explain to her that people on TV and in ads are trying to sell her things and she shouldn't take their word for it but make sure to do her own research. She pauses for a moment to consider this and I'm patting myself on the back then she says "Mommy...can you turn up the TV?"

Nice, well, at least I tried and have put the idea in her head. I find that I'm constantly having to edit things in her life for her. Little life lessons all over the place. For instance, we are reading the Junie B Jones series. Junie B is a precocious almost 6 year old (like little bob) with really strong opinions. She yells quite a lot, says "I hate" about many things and is trying to navigate her way through kindergarten. As we are reading the book, I always stop when Junie B is not behaving well and have a little lesson about things like: treating others with respect, not throwing a tantrum, not using the word "hate" regarding people, etc. Sometimes this leads into a meaningful discussion but most of the time I'm told, in an exasperated tone, to get on with the book. I'm afraid that I'm taking the fun out of things for her and perhaps am overdoing it a bit.

It's hard because I want to have those conversations with her now, while she is young and impressionable, and I want to have them and repeat them often enough to have some impact on her when she has to make a choice later in life (no, not just about Oxy Clean...you know what I mean). But I don't want it to be to the point where she just tunes me out automatically when I begin to start a conversation with her. I know that I have years ahead of me full of tuning out, eye rolling, sighing, but I hope that I'm laying the groundwork to keep those lines of communication open in the future.

Because I know it will happen. I see it with my sweet, adorable, most precious niece, who I have always thought is extra special for her kindness and caring ways with others. She hit 11 and kind of started to get a little snarky...a little tude. Now she'll be 13 this week and we are in full-on teenager mode. The sighs, the eye rolls, the drama. I still see glimpses of her, like when she calls me to get a little love and attention when she has hurt herself and then that leads to what is going on in her life. Yep, there is my little sweetpea. I've worked hard at being involved in my neices lives and have had very similar conversations with them as I am having with LB now. It makes me hopeful that the hard work will pay off in the end.

So, there you have it. Off to find a carpet cleaner I guess...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Can't Get Enough Of...



Meaghan Smith... Her voice is simply beautiful. Her videos are a visual treat and right up my ally with the motion graphics. Check out her website for other videos and info. I love someone that has to have a video version of their bio to go along with the written form. What is it with those Canadians turning out so many fantastic female singers? Celine, Diana Krall, Nelly Furtado, Sarah McLachlan... must be something in the water up there. I dare you to listen to 5 More Minutes to see if you can get it out of your head. I want to live in that song...which quite possibly doesn't make a whole lot of sense as I write this at 1:03am but just listen and you'll see what I mean.

Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hanging With The Girl

Thanks to all who inquired about my mom. She is doing better and the break is not as bad as originally thought. No surgery and she even gets to go on her vacation this week so she is a happy camper.

The week continues to have unexpected little things happen here and there. Today my class was cancelled so the girl and I headed to the zoo to check in on our animal friends...


Little animals running wild in the zoo...
I adore cows. I think they are so gentle and sweet. One day, when I have my little farm, I'll raise cows too...

hello friends...

This guy was pretty cool and provided for some hysterics later on. He was pacing and rubbing his body across the glass then proceeded to back his hind end up to the glass and spray a gallon or two at the faces of the little kids watching him. Little Bob was pretty disgusted and all of the kids were screaming. It was quite funny...and unexpected...and I guess apropos considering that is the theme of my week.

The bears didn't disappoint either. Usually they are sleeping but were up playing and in the water today... so very cool! Wish I had gotten better shots through the glass.



I love the flamingos and how they sport my favorite color!

little buddies...

more signs of spring appearing all around my home...



Hope you all have a lovely day with some unexpected lovely things!

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Best Laid Plans...

Sometimes don't work out. Little Bob has spring break this week and I was hoping to have a fun week planned amongst school etc. Day 1 and we're already having to switch things around. I had to send her to MIL's so could finish up a project for school THEN had to put that plan on hold because my mama broke her leg this weekend and we're off to see the surgeon today.

Such is life...

Hopefully, no surgery will be needed. Ai, yi, yi... :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Authentic

That girl in the picture had the world at her doorstep... so much excitement and promise and ideas of what life was going to be. She was going to take the world by storm.

This summer will be the 16th anniversary of that picture. I had just taken my Peace Corps oath to protect and defend the constitution of the United States from enemies both foreign and domestic. For some reason the thought of domestic enemies at the time made us giggle. My how the world has changed...

That girl is still here. She has additional views on life now, adjusted others, but much of the core is still there. I feel like I have lost my way sometimes and have not been authentically living for too many reasons... anxiety, wanting to be perfect, worrying about not fitting in, self doubt, money issues, relationships, parenting, family, etc.

I feel the need to get back in touch with this girl and all of the possibilities she dreamed of. To truly let go of self doubt and criticism and worry about what the rest of the world might think, or say, or want of me and just be true to myself.

Funny how the universe provides when you put something out there! Came across some great blogs this weekend that are inspiring and speaking to me...
Gypsy Girl's Guide is amazing. I started reading her from the beginning and can't stop. Beautiful photos too! She has had some great adventures in life and has a great sense about what is important and what to let go of.

Ordinary Courage is another good read and full of great insight into living an authentic life. Letting go of the bs and just living.

I feel I'm at one of those crossroads in life...a transition time. My life is ready to move in a different direction full of possibility and creativity.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!



Hope you have a blessed day full of lots of goodies! Little Bob can't wait for the bunny. One more sleep and he'll be here! Thankfully, the bunny happened to remember last night that he needed to put together a basket. Don't know how he could have forgotten with all of the reminders everyday. The bunny is getting old and a touch forgetful...

Can you imagine? I'm still working on that mother of the year award for sure :o)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Working Through...

This book...

If you are a photographer and want to learn more about photography or photoshop, pick up any of Scott Kelby's books! All i can say is he is amazing!

His bio from his website:

"Editor and Publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Editor-in-Chief of Layers Magazine; training director and instructor for the Adobe Photoshop Seminar Tour, President National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP), CEO of Kelby Media Group, author of a string of bestselling technology books. Conference Technical Chair for the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, author of numerous Photoshop training DVDs and online courses, and co-host of PhotoshopTV. Nine jobs, little sleep."

Here are two little things I tried from the book...





You'll have to imagine a border around these because I can't seem to get it to show no matter what code I change. The top one is a postcard and the bottom image is a poster.
So fun! I got this book at Costco for $29.99 and it's normally $54.99 so a good deal right now if you can find it or others at your store.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dear Neighbors

I know you are in there... can you please be considerate of the rest of us and stop your dog from barking. I know dogs bark, but to let it go on for an hour...really?

The culprit...
Can you tell the picture was a covert op...through the bedroom window. I think one of the other neighbors behind us saw me taking this picture. Wonder what she is thinking about that? This dog stands at the fence and barks at my other neighbor's dog and this goes on for hours. It doesn't bother me so much when it's colder and the windows are closed but now with nicer weather coming I'll have to listen to it again.

She barks at night too. I told my hubby that next time she wakes me up at night I'm going to go over and ring their doorbell until their whole house is woken up and they take her inside. Is that so wrong? I don't know what else to do to make the point. When your dog barks, especially at 3am, you bring her in the house.

Signs of spring are popping up at our house...


I love my little companion during the day. She loves it when she has mama all to herself!


Too pretty!


Happy Wednesday...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Crickets Chirping...

Well hello to anyone who might still be reading this!

Last quarter kicked my fanny and when I did have a moment—I didn't want to be on the computer much...Or if I was, it was only to play Bejeweled on Facebook. Getting my fanny kicked there too!

Anyhoo...I'm back and have a long update so grab a drink, get comfy and take a peek at what I've been up too:

In the middle of tests and all of my projects, I somehow found the time to bake 240 cupcakes and a wedding cake for my friends wedding. My arm and hand hurt for the next day or two. I have a new appreciation for pastry chefs for sure. Might need to cross that one off of the life list.


I must say, the cake was fabulous thanks to a recipe my friend, a super talented chef, shared with me. French vanilla cake with a fresh strawberry filling and smothered in a white chocolate ganache. Can you taste it...? The bride's friend doing flowers backed out at the last minute and there weren't any for the cake so I threw some fresh strawberries and white chocolate curls all over it. Thankfully, the bride is super easy-going and didn't really care what it looked like...

St. Patrick's Day was thoroughly celebrated. Little Bob's school has a huge parade each year and really do it up.

Little Bob is back in action with soccer. Notice the Power Ranger shirt??? We're...read SHE... is planning her PR birthday party. It's not til the end of the year so I told her we'll wait to see if she still likes them by then. Half of a year is like 5 years in little kiddom so who knows by then!

We have had tea parties...

And took a trip to B.C. Oh, how I love you Vancouver!

And you too pastries... these little lovelies can be found at the Granville Public Market on Granville Island. Granville is a great place to spend a day! Lots of little shops, art galleries, fantastic restaurants, the waterfront, and the Public Market with tons of great little stalls to while away a day.

Heading to Stanley Park across town. No wonder they are hosting the next Winter Olympics!

Speaking of... we ran into the countdown clock.

Watching...

Listening to...

Reading... and eating... and cooking! This is a great cookbook! I love how things are arranged by ingredients and flavors. I am working my way through the banana section right now. The Texas banana muffins and spiced breakfast bread are to-die-for!

Want to read... Have you read Orangette ... Molly Wizenberg's food blog? It's a great read, full of amazing recipes and even a touching love story. Did you know your blog can lead you to your husband...? SSG you reading this? :o) Check out her blog and her book. Can't wait to get it!


Loving... Seattle's Soccer team!
Working...

Here is a project that I put together for my editing class. I had about a week to throw it together and, as always, had certain time and other restrictions/requirements. Our video from this trip was not compatible with the equipment at school and there wasn't time to get it formatted to do so so I had to slap some pictures together from the trip. The pics really should have been edited and it will be much better when I have the actual video... but here is a little snippet of what will ultimately be about 5 times longer. It's about 4 1/2 minutes in length so watch when you have the time. It's sweet...

video

I have a great little Flash movie that I made and wanted to show you but, alas, I can't figure out how to get Flash movies on Blogger. I have googled a bit and it seems pretty convoluted right now, so when I figure it out will post it. It's 1440 frames of animation and is an Easter greeting to the tune of Here Comes Peter Cottontail. It will ultimately be posted on my website.

So tomorrow is the start of the final quarter of my design program. I'm excited and scared at the same time. I don't feel like I've really learned enough to actually get a job but part of that is just my own negative self talk taking over (see how much time I spend above telling you why my video sucks?). The fact of the matter is that I AM a new designer and will learn more and discover more as I go along. All of my teachers speak of how they cringe when they look at their design work from the initial years of their career. I know I will too. I still cringe when I see work from the first quarter! lol... One of my classes this quarter is putting together my online portfolio. Gulp...you mean I have to actually put it out there for others to see...she asks with sweaty palms and nervous giggle?!?

Off to work I go...