Friday, March 20, 2015

Silhouettes

Oh hey there. I'm a month shy of it being a year since my last post. Yikes! I don't care what anyone says... life gets super busy after having a kid. Projects are far and few between but I do manage to work on some things occasionally.

And I managed to do a painting! That will be the next post.

For now, my silhouettes of the kids...

Silhouettes

I actually finished these a few months ago but hadn't gotten them printed. My initial plan was to do the whole family. But... well... 2 out of 4 isn't bad. I think I'll just keep them as the kids. Nobody cares about the parents anymore anyways!

The exciting part about these is that I actually had them printed on art paper which is something new for me. Obviously you can't tell this through the screen. I uploaded my images to fineartamerica.com and ordered prints through the website. They turned out pretty good actually. I'll have to keep them in mind in the future.




Saturday, April 26, 2014

A New Year, a New Garden

It's that time of year again... when we pretend to have a green thumb. Last year we skipped the gardening. We had signed up for a full CSA share. And with being pregnant and all, we decided we didn't need the additional responsibility of taking care of a garden. But this year we've decided to give it a try. I'm not expecting too much success our first year, but we'll see how it goes. All I really want are fresh tomatoes. This year we've gone much bigger than we have in the past. We are no longer in a townhouse. And we no longer have cute garden boxes. We've gone much bigger.

DSC_0523

20x30 feet to be exact. This could either go really well. Or really bad.

The plan is to not go crazy this year. Again, all I really want are fresh tomatoes. With the abundance of stinkbugs in the areas, I'm not sure how successful we'll even be. Mike wants hot peppers, so we'll be planting a bunch of those. And herbs. Because I need fresh basil with the tomatoes. The rest of the stuff, I don't care as much about.

This was the original plan:

Flash

I used this handy garden planner to help plan things out. Well we've already abandoned the plan and just started planting. :) The raspberries are no longer located in the garden because apparently they can get unruly. We are skipping spinach. We are skipping peas, but possibly doing beans. And everything is moving locations. We will see how much actually gets planted.

So far we have some nice broccoli plants in the ground.

DSC_0525

Zoom in? Sure.

DSC_0527

We bought broccoli plants from the store. We had started some seedlings but they haven't been doing so hot. And since it was time to start the cold weather plants we just decided to buy plants. We're not ashamed.

We've also planted some kale and spring onions. We planted those seeds directly just this week. So... time will tell.

The rest of the plants are still incubating in the house.

DSC_0480


DSC_0479

The seedling got off to a bit of a rough start. We started seeds in egg cartons and they were doing great. Then we thought they'd need more space so we tried transplanting them and they did not like that at all. Only a few survived so we've basically started over. When it comes time to plant we may just end up buying more plants :)

Fingers crossed this goes well.




Friday, April 11, 2014

Baptism Cake

This post has been sitting as a draft for a couple of months now. We had a baptism for Baby G in February so yes, its been that long.

Much like this post, it took us a while to get things squared away for the baptism. At 6 months old, Baby G was looking sharp in his 12-18 month baptism outfit. Yes, that's right.... 12-18 month.

We invited mostly family to the baptism and I tried keeping the food pretty simple. Chicken salad sandwiches and pulled pork... from Costco, of course. However I really wanted to make the cake. I'm determined to get back into doing little crafty projects here and there. So I tasked myself with making a cake.

photo-2

As usual Pinterest had some good pictures for inspiration. Apparently baptism cakes can get pretty extravagant. Obviously, that's not what I was looking for. But here are some ideas I did like: here, here, and here. Basically anything that looked like it involved just placing a cross on the cake I was all about.

Since hours in the day seem pretty tight these days, I spaced out the cake making during one week. I baked and froze the cakes early in the week. And then made the fondant a couple days before I needed it. And actually, like the monkey cake I made, I saved some time by also buying a container of fondant. I bought some Fondarific fondant from Amazon and I must say, I'm a fan! So basically all the parts were prepared ahead of time and assembly happened the night before the baptism.

DSC_0804

My cake making skills are still far from perfect. But luckily more layers can be used to hide things.

DSC_0812
Dang. There's still a thumb print.

The white fondant covering the cake is my homemade stuff. And the blue is the store-bought.  I must say the store bought stuff rolls out much smoother. The consistency is very close to that of Play-doh. So its very fun to work with :)

Decorating basically involved three steps:

1) Wrapping a ribbon around the cake. I found this handy little tool in my toolbox.

DSC_0811

2) Adding a cross on top.

DSC_0813

3) Adding candy pearls around the cross and ribbon.

IMAG0581 

Step 3 was definitely the most tedious. Every couple of minutes one or two of little pearls would fall on the floor and bounce around for a bit. But in the end it got done. And I even got to bed at a reasonable hour!




Saturday, February 8, 2014

Memory Box for Baby

So I had a baby..... almost 6 months ago. I just want to confirm that not much gets done when you have a baby. Okay, let me clarify. Not much gets done except for feeding the baby, taking care of the baby, playing with the baby, and loving the baby. You know... taking care of another human being. In my spare time now I'm generally running around the house like a mad woman trying to pick stuff up, throw in a load of laundry, or cook some sort of meal. I'm not complaining though. Really! But it's true what they say, that your life really changes after the baby comes. And it's really hard to comprehend until it actually happens! Before Baby G arrived I really worried that I wouldn't have the patience to take care of someone else. I really enjoyed my free time. But honestly, giving up most of my free time has been easy. Totally worth it :)

I do occasionally find some time for a little project. That painting I planned for the nursery? It's still a blank canvas. I might finish before Baby G is 18. But smaller projects happen here and there.

One of the first projects I did after Baby G's birth was create a memory box with all of his birth items. I got the idea from Pinterest. I obviously wanted to hold on to all of these things, so why not display them? I started by ordering a shadow box off of Amazon. (So much easier than taking a 2-month old to the store.)

DSC_0510

The shadow box arrived. It sat for awhile. And then one day during nap time I gathered everything I wanted to use. I am most proud that I managed to hold on to all 3 of our hospital bands. Go me.

DSC_0512-edit

Ugh. I just realized I misspelled "hospital" not once, but twice. Ignore, please! I'm not fixing it.

Then came assembly. Basically I used the hospital blanket as a backdrop for everything else. This was my first go at it.

DSC_0516-edit

It looks a little cramped, doesn't it? It hung on the wall like this for awhile until finally one day I cut the blanket up. Why I tried to stuff an entire blanket in that frame, I don't know. Here's how it ended up.

DSC_0577-r

Not bad.

Okay, off I go to start the day!




Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Nursery

The nursery is done. All we need is the baby.

DSC_0090

You may recall the argyle walls that were done a couple months ago. Aside from the argyle, I didn't really want any particular theme for the room. With no theme we'd be free to decorate with just about anything that was fun and/or cute.

Like this crazy thing...

DSC_0060

This was actually a Christmastime white elephant gift that came from Colombia. It's pretty entertaining. You can't see it in this picture but there is a toilet on the back, which makes it even better.


DSC_0088

DSC_0087

DSC_0085-r

Clearly I still have some work to do. One day there will be a painting on that blue wall.

Some of my favorite things:

The book wall, featuring books we've received as gifts. This kid better love to read.

 DSC_0071-r

The mobile I made here:

DSC_0073

Meatball's twin:

DSC_0081

Baby soccer cleats. They aren't meant to be decor but somehow they've become a prominent display on the dresser:

DSC_0093

So sure, the baby might not be sleeping here immediately. But that's okay. In the meantime Meatball will continue hunting around looking for toys on the floor.




Friday, August 2, 2013

Paper Mobile

I've been consumed by baby things recently. Well baby things and kitchen things. Still finishing up the kitchen renovation! Going on three months now. I work on baby things to get my mind off of kitchen things.

Back when I was setting up my registry I discovered the Amazon registry system. I love the idea because in addition to registering for items on Amazon you can add items from pretty much any other website. This includes Etsy. I loved this.

So of course I browsed Etsy and found all sorts of cute baby items that were adorable but yet not exactly necessary. Things like baby moccasins. Who doesn't need a pair? The other things I really liked was this paper mobile. It's cute and simple. But at $40 it is also a bit pricey. And being simple I thought, "Hey I could do that." Probably not as well, but could certainly give it a whirl.

So I did.

DSC_0067-r

My supplies included:
  • Colored cardstock paper
  • X-Acto knife
  • Illusion Wire (a.k.a. clear string) from the jewelry section
  • Clear craft glue


I started out by buying some colored cardstock paper. Fade-RESISTANT cardstock paper! If I remember correctly the paper was $3-4 a sheet. So I was already coming out ahead in my investment.

DSC_0021

For just about every piece of the mobile I used the same process. I'd make a stencil. Then trace onto the colored paper.

DSC_0022
Stencil

DSC_0023
Trace

I kinda quit taking pictures around this point. Things got a little more hairy when I started the clouds. The clouds each consist of 3 identical pieces of paper, each in the shape of the cloud. I would then fold two of the clouds in half, and glue one to each side of the flat cloud. Make sense? The tricky part was getting everything to hold together until the glue could dry.

DSC_0061

Since I'm being honest, this mobile ended up taking me longer than I anticipated. I worked on it in pieces. Cutting little pieces of paper out with the X-acto knife gets old after awhile. And then there was the aforementioned frustration of gluing the pieces together. So $40.00? Perhaps it was fair price after all.

DSC_0045

However I finally got it done. And it is good enough for me. And good enough for future baby. I'll just never show him the Etsy version.

DSC_0063 




Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fireflies

I've been on a mission the last couple of nights to photograph the lightning bugs. Or fireflies... whichever you prefer. We've been noticing them on our walks in the evenings and they are present in large numbers.  Of course it also gets pretty dark out here so maybe we can just see them better.

I Googled "photographing fireflies" and turned up some pretty awesome results. See here and here. Now obviously I'm not this skilled but thought I'd give it a try anyways. So night #1 I set up my tripod and started messing with the settings. This is what I got:

fireflies copy

Not terrible. But not really amazing either. Part of my issue was that most of the tutorials I read discussed merging multiple photos together. And I could not figure out how to do this effectively.

Night #2: I did more reading. Then went back outside and setup my tripod. I also adjusted my settings slightly. I've been shooting in manual mode, which alone is new for me. Based on what I read, my settings were adjusted to somewhere around  f/5.6, ISO 3200, 8 seconds. This was the result:

fireflies3 copy

Much better. I should note that this is actually 8 different photos overlapped together. And the biggest difference from night #1 is that I learned how to overlap the photos properly. (Thank you Google.) I believe the proper term in Photoshop is "lighten blend mode."

It's this option here:

lighten blend

See I learned something tonight :)