Thursday, September 30, 2010

You Capture: Togetherness

Taking a photo of my kids together, let alone a portrait-y type shot is next to impossible.  They either get the giggles:

or get in each other's space in a pose like this, Julia's arm around Adam's neck.  That sometimes ends up with Adam upset because J's trying to get him to look in the right direction, and me trying get her to let go and put a little space between them.

But most of the time, the photo taking process goes something like this:


For more togetherness, visit Beth, the lovely You Capture hostess.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Corner View:

"Who IS this man with the incredible, mysterious mustache?"

When I sent out an SOS on Facebook today, my husband had the awesome idea to have me phone a friend of his who has a mustache and then decorate it.  I just didn't think that was very fair.  I mean, it's easy enough for him to suggest it, being so far away right now and all.  I figured only when HE could take a beribboned 'stache himself could he suggest such a thing be done on a friend!'s the 'do, dear?

I'm sorry--this was a major cop-out on the topic today.  I just don't know anyone with a mustache and any of the ideas I had had been done already.  But I am making it a challenge to find a mustache and do a photo of it within the next few days.  Even if I have to go up to a complete stranger to do it! 

Bring it!

For more prickly, mustacheod photos, check out Cate's place.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Needed a daisy today

My day went from somewhat busy, as per the usual Tuesday, to insane. 


House too much a wreck to even have the bug guy over for the semi-annual visit, even after hours of work to get things somewhat presentable. 

Not only my two kids but two more.

Choir only half an hour after drop off from schoolbus and home from choir right at dinner time so

Dinner was an hour late.

Extra homework practice to prepare for a test tomorrow.

Flight delay for mom of two extra kids.

So bedtime included two extra kids and was

Cray. Zee.

And an hour late (see dinner above).

Which brings about the greatest, greatest tragedy of all...

...I missed Glee.

For which I am now drowning my sorrows in a homemade chocolate cookie and milk.

OK.  Make that cookIES and milk.

Mucho pluralo.

In a clean, vacuumed living room.

Looking at what to watch after missing Glee.

And I'm afraid the pickings are slim. 

When the best choice may be "How to Improve Your Prostate Health," it's time to call it a night!


Monday, September 27, 2010

Recipe for a lovely afternoon.

Scooch, squidge, and wiggle your feet in cool, black, oozy mud.


And repeat.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

you know you're a Red Green wannabe when... use duct tape to repair the tripod.

But it helped me take this:

And yes, the jacket makes me look like a linebacker, so I probably won't wear it again, at least not in public!  Doesn't help that I had to be straight on to the camera as well, since I was trying to keep Adam in line. 

But that's not the tripod's fault, after all. 

We'll more than likely go back out to this park and reshoot these, only with the kids dressed a little nicer, for our Christmas card.  Too bad we weren't ready for it today.  The light was perfect.  But I looked through  the kids' things, and their clothing all appears to come from *gasp* Walmart or dibs and dabs from thrift stores, and they have nothing particularly nice or coordinating.  I definitely need to do something about that.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Too late to post what I wanted to post about the beans.  But here's Julia being silly.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Scrabbling for words

Just had a rousing game of Scrabble with Adam.

Aged 4.

We play with rule variations.  Everyone has seven tiles.  Unless he needs more.

I play a word.  He fills in any spaces and adds to my word with whatever letters he has. 

I try to build words on his play.

It's a challenge.

For me.

He always wins!

Sometimes when he adds letters to my words, we talk about how the letter changes the word.  We talk about the sounds, even though the additions probably don't make much sense!

Then we toast his win with orange juice.

There ARE real words in here. They're just cleverly disguised by Adam's plays.


I think it's time to lawyer up and get ready to plead the fifth.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Crafty math

4 broken drill bits + 3 pieces of damaged silverware + 2 sore thumbs = 1 vintage-spoon bracelet.

When I finally figured out how to do it, it really wasn't that hard.  It just took some figuring out.  There are obviously things that I need to work on, but for a first one, I don't think it's so bad!  Definitely need different wire, though.  The wire I used turned all coppery as soon as I bent it, and I think a larger gauge would be better.  And I want to learn how to solder jump rings to make the clasp a little nicer looking.  Still and all, I'm pretty happy with the result.  If you have any tips on soldering or wire work, please let me know!  I can use the assist. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Corner View: Humour


But let me hand you a tissue and perhaps a razer before we go any further, here...

Theresa is hosting CV this week, so head over to her place for a giggle.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Jewel in the mail.


If it weren't for Se'Lah and her wonderful Gift of Jewels"Gift of Jewels" international pen pal initiative, I would not have received this amazing postcard in the mail from Germany courtesy of Ophelia Elsa at Honey and Sage.  And chocolate too!  Oh yum.  Just what I needed.  Thanks to both Ophelia Elsa and Se'Lah for today's sparkle!

See the building in the middle with the pointy, red roof?  Adam told me in no uncertain terms that Ophelia Elsa lives in THAT building. 

And the kids don't know that she sent chocolate, too.  I thought it prudent to keep that to myself.  hehe

Sunday, September 19, 2010

On its way

Don't get me wrong, here. I love winter.  I love the snow, I love the crispness in the air, I love Christmas.  I love sledding and building snowmen and going for snowy walks and making snow ice cream and all those winter things.  Love them!

But I have to admit that after last winter, which seemed extra long, when I saw these the other day, my heart sank just a little bit, I have to admit.  I've gotten so used to the warmth, you see. 

But then I thought about the next month, with the amazing blaze of color that is just starting to show itself, and I realized that the reason we're given the wonderful Autumn time is to help give us the energy and BOOST we need to make it through the winter.

And what's with all the kamikaze squirrels, chipmunks, and other critters these days?  They're so busy gathering and racing around that they're completely ignoring cross walks, and some have unfortunately paid the price.  I don't know how many times I've had to slow down or stop so as not to squish the little critters, and yesterday one was sitting right there in the middle of the road, nut in jaws, not moving.  I beeped the horn at him, and Julia giggled when she saw the startled thing come to its senses and scurry off to safety.

The smell of bonfires is intoxicating, the crisp air is invigorating, and the leaves are breathtaking.

So I guess I'll take it!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Listen up!

I think I'm going to make a print of this with "Listen up!" in big letters.  I just fell in love with this guy's ears, I must say.  Aren't they the best EVER? 

Here's where he hangs out, the lucky beastie:

And we were in his yard hanging out with Katy

and George

George is a big, beautiful, belgian baby with the softest nose EVER.
And you could fit two of Adam crossways across his chest.

Lovely, lovely afternoon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

puppet making

So strange to start a blog post and not have to check and see what day of the year it is!  Kind of discombobulating.

But here we go:

Is there a place your town that is underused, and you wonder how and why people can NOT be swarming over it droves?  For me, it's the Johnstown Children's Museum.  It has been open just a little over a year, and although there are times when it's pretty busy, usually we're only one of maybe two or three families there.  For someone with small children in a place where there aren't a lot of things to do with little guys, the museum is a gem.  And a family membership is so reasonable, and covers not only the children's museum but THREE other places as well, that to NOT get one is a complete waste of money.  Adam and I go by at least once a week by ourselves, especially when the weather is blah and we need a change of scenery.  Besides the coal slide where kids can dress up like miners and slide into a pile of soft "coal", and the water play, and the huge kitchen with AMAZING play food, and the fishing pond, the big hit is a spot with a bunch of really nice wooden blocks, people, buildings, and vehicles to build a town.  It's good for hours!

Every Friday afternoon at 2:30 they have a craft for the kiddos, and it has become a weekly to-do, what with school letting out early that day.  A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to sit and chat with two of the girls who work there (Adam and I happened to be the only people in the museum.  Unreal.).  Anyhoo, these girls are so on the ball, fun, happy, and interesting to talk with.  The one in charge of the craft is really gung-ho about it, and so far we've made pinwheels, bugs, nature pictures, and today cute little scarecrow puppets.

How cute are these???

(I know, the puppets are pretty fun, too!)

Is there a place in your town that you love and wonder why others haven't caught on?  Give it a shout-out here! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 365

Wow.  I can't believe it has been a year since starting this project.  The other day I was looking through the photos and had trouble finding many that I would hang on my wall, but found loads that made me smile when I remembered taking them.

Today I wanted to do something special for a photo, and made a couple little plans, all of which wouldn't work because I can't stretch time.  If I had 3-1/2 hours between 4:00 when Julia got home from school and 6:30 when the PTO meeting began, then maybe it would have worked out.  We tried, and even with the time squeeze we may have made it if it were not for Julia losing bracelet along the way.  So instead of going to where we wanted to go and having time, we took five minutes in the school field before the meeting to mess around with the remote.  Five minutes.  This is it:

It's just...odd looking.  When I turned it to B&W, it did something weird around Julia's lips and chin.  It looks like I cut her out or something.  The colour was kind of strange, too, and I didn't know how to fix it properly so I desaturated it. 

Here are my attempts:

Straight out of the camera:

After saturating and sharpening a bit:

It's still just...wrong.  Splotchy and busy looking, even though the settings shouldn't have contributed to that.  It could simply have been that without being behind the lens, there isn't a decent focus.  Still.

I really, really, need to figure out a decent editing program.

Just goes to show that I have way more to learn than I know, and I need to keep taking and posting photos on here.  I'm actually really looking forward to participating in some of the different memes, photography assignments, online photography courses, and such. And I'm going to take some time to learn Photoshop properly.  So on days that I'm not posting, you can bet I'm still sitting here at the computer tearing my hair out over an editing action that I have no clue how to execute.  I'm certainly not done blogging.  Frankly, it has become such a part of my day, it would be just weirdly wrong to ignore it now!

Thanks to all of you who have commented and gave me the motivation to take a photo every day.  You made this so much easiser and enjoyable.  A great big thank you!  Mwa-mwa-mwa!  You'll keep in touch, right?  Please?  I don't know what I'd do without you!

And yes, I WILL cut Adam's hair tomorrow. 

America's Got Talent Spoiler

And as I'm posting this, I'm watching America's Got Talent, and I actually screamed a little at the end.  So unexpected an ending, but it still made me happy.  Jackie Evancho in Vegas would have been so not good for her, and she's going to be a huge star anyway.  Fighting Gravity will have big shows.  So will Poppycock.  Michael Grimm is the one who could use the money the most and will be the most blessed by the win, so it made me glad for him.  I like how quiet and unassuming he is--and his expression when he won tugged at my heart, and that tug opened my mouth and allowed a small, little, surprised yet happy scream.  I can't believe I just admitted that.

AGT has been my guilty pleasure, although I've missed wackloads of episodes.  Especially enjoy the last few weeks when the acts are actually good.

Now I have to tackle the dishes.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 364

This.  Took. Forever. 

Definitely hard trying to take a photo of oneself.  You should try it sometime!

At least now my front window is clean. 
Until a cat comes along to paw at it,
And little finger and nose prints appear before 8:00 tomorrow morning.
But I know that it was clean for a few hours,
Which will account for some peaceful dreams tonight.
Oh my yes!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 363: All downhill from here...

Adam and I took a long walk this afternoon down an unknown trail.  Johnstown is known for its Inclined Plane. Here is a photo of it, not taken by me:

You can see how steep it is. 

We live in the neighbourhood at the top.

And today Adam and I walked the hiking trail along the mountainside.  Narrow switchback trails covered in rock interspersed with beautiful, wide, grassy areas.  We didn't make it all the way down, since we had to go back up in time to meet Julia after school, but we did have a lovely time and walked probably a little bit more than half way.  Adam wants to go all the way to the bottom because, apparently, that's where the "old people like to hang out." 

Here are a couple of photos.  Nothing too interesting, particularly.  Strangely I had my macro on my camera.  Why?  Not sure.  I'll do better next time!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day 362: Shtuff

Julia made lunch herself this afternoon. Pancakes for everyone!  She did the whole thing, reading, measuring, pouring, and flipping.

We found a funny face in one of them!

She's now pancake proficient.

Way better than her mother, who was known for her black and gooey pancakes at HS home ec and who didn't learn how to make nice pancakes until well into college.  Even now, I don't like making them with cast iron or on an electric stove--I have a pancake pan that I use and whenever I try to use anything else, I end up with guck.  I don't know what's going to happen when I can't use this pan any more, because the pancakes that pan makes are niiiiice.  I swear without that pan, pancakes will once again not be welcome in our household.


But now at least we have Julia to take over the pancake process.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day 361: $20 silver

So I got it in my head to try to make some jewelry out of old silverplate cutlery.  Where's one to find such silverware?  Ebay, of course.  And for $20, I found this beautiful set.  While most of it is one set, missing only 3 forks out of 12, there are about 40 pieces that are a whole mismash of patterns as well--including a few pieces of fairly rare solid sterling.  Don't see much of those, and most jewelry isn't made from it because it's so hard to find.  But anyway, here are a few shots.  Unfortunately, I didn't think about taking photos until the light was all gone, and I was too lazy to go get my flash and such.  So we're getting what we're getting:

Anne, March 23, 1894


And do you know what I spent an age doing yesterday to a couple of pieces that I found for .50 at an antique shop in town?

Completely wrecking them.  Bent one piece completely and crookedly out of shape and scratched it to smithereens. 

And today to two pieces from this box?

Destroyed three drill bits while trying to drill holes in them, then scratched them up as the drill bounced everywhere.  And that was WITH putting a little dimple in the handles first to try to prevent that. and clamping it securely to a piece of wood.

I think I need some professional help.  Anyone have any tricks?  I'm hoping to find someone that has a drill press that I can borrow, which will probably help a lot.  I just don't want to wreck any more of this beautiful silver!  EEEEK!

When I looked all over the internet finding umpteen instructions on how to make bracelets out of these things, it didn't seem to be such a bit deal.  A bit time consuming, but most said easy and relaxing and not needing more than a few simple hand tools, all of which I have.  The problem, according to the instructions, was cutting them.  No problem.  I used a bolt cutter and the pieces cut like butter.

Drilling they said was easy.  Use a hand drill.  Use a bit for metal.  Clamp spoon to a piece of wood.  Put a dimple in the metal with a nail and drill straight down.  Easy as making breakfast.

So wrong. 

But I think maybe bringing the lot to a drill press and spending some time doing a bunch at once might be the trick.

Argh.  I think a headache is in my future.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day 360: And off he goes!

Although the orientation was Wednesday, today was the first day of 4yr-old preschool for The Bean.  He loved preschool last year, and could hardly wait to meet his friends and get going for the year. 

"Be sure you have packback in picture, mummy."

"OK, peanut.  I think I've got it!"


"All right."

Julia is feeling like she has been left out of blog-land lately, so I'm going to have to do something about that soon.  And then get off to real blogging.  Somehow.  What is THAT?

Speaking of J, she's at a friend's tonight, so it's The Bean and me.  It's way late, but chocolate is in order, I think.  Preferably on my bed.  Then we're both heading to lullaby land.  He promised he'd sing me a song and tuck me in.   Don't tell anyone I'm feeding my kid chocolate at 9:30 at night, way past bedtime!  Shhhh!  Usually bed is two hours ago, but we just got back from playing a bunch of games at Julia's friend's place, and we're both still wide awake and slightly goofy. 

That said, I'm off now to do the mom thing.  Fun fun fun!

Night all,


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day 359: I lied

...about things not looking good for a photo today.  No sooner had I posted yesterday's just a few minutes ago then Adam came over.  So I grabbed my camera and snapped these:

...and my battery is starting to blink...

...getting fuzzier photos by the second, but couldn't resist this:

...and the battery died completely.

So very fuzzy.

But cute.

"I wear wig!"

Yuppers.  You sure do!  And with such style!

Day 359

I took absolutely no good photos yesterday.  I tried to take some shots of something in my house, and they really look horrible, so I took the least offensive photo and messed around with it, and you have this:

Can you guess what it is?

Please ignore the dust!

And today isn't looking great either.  It's kind of gray outside, and so far, I have had no inspiration strike.  But it's not the end of the day yet!