Thursday, December 30, 2010

Don't forget about this contest...

The deadline for entries is tomorrow (December 31, 2010). You can submit photos through midnight! And you can enter as many as you wish. If you haven't made the connection, this is a contest I am hosting and I would love it if you would enter! :-)

Photo Contest Banner

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Snuggling

Monday, December 27, 2010

Pearls and Crystals

A while back I did some design work for a young lady who has a homemade jewelry business - The Joy of Jewelry. In return, she sent me some of her jewelry. I decided to play around with photos of it... this is the lovely Swarovski crystal and pearl bracelet I picked.
The young woman who makes this beautiful jewelry is a Christian and creates her jewelry to represent different things. You can view her shop online HERE. Click on the photo above to order the bracelet for yourself! :-)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Winter Ferns

Ferns are neat plants... we have a whole patch of them in our back yard. Of course they are prettier in the spring but they are neat in winter too, after they have curled up and shrunk to less than half their size. I'm a bit unsure about if it's a good idea to take pictures of dead plants... it doesn't exactly give you the same peaceful or happy feeling that a green leaf or a colorful flower gives. But I thought these were neat, so I'm afraid you'll have to put up with it. :-)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Apple Macadamia Nut Muffins

This was another recipe we made for our baking club. You get the recipe over at DeL Sister's Kitchen (we just omitted the coconut and instead of milk we used orange juice because we were making them for some friends who can't have dairy).

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tall Ships at Navy Pier

A while ago I posted a picture of a lighthouse from Navy Pier and promised I'd post some photos of the Tall Ships that were there this summer. A friend of mine, who is also a great photographer, invited me to go with her and her family to see the Tall Ships at Navy Pier. We had a great day full of sun on the lake and took hundreds of pictures.

Both of us were *slightly* enamored with all the ropes, as some of the pictures will testify. :-)

Some of the ships were available for "sail-aways," or little mini trips out on the lake. We didn't go on those (had to pay more money :-), but it looks like it would have been crowded anyway!

The beautiful blue of the lake

This is one of my favorite pictures of the day... not sure why. Maybe it's the colors in the background, behind the weathered rope and wood.

After we saw all the ships and took far too many pictures, we decided to ride the ferris wheel, which was a lot of fun. I haven't ridden one since I was little. We got some pictures of the Chicago skyline.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I Heart Faces "Pets" Challenge


I have tons of photos I could have entered for i heart faces this week (over time we have had 5 cats)... but I picked this one. This is our sweetest kitty, Basha. She's pretty much a member of the family; we've had her for over 16 years. She loves Mom more than anything in the world and would be the happiest cat alive if Mom would just hold her 24/7. She is on her last leg now, and we will miss her very much. I took this picture one day when she was doing so bad she could barely walk, and we thought she wouldn't make it through the day. I realized that because both Mom and Basha really aren't too keen on being in front of a camera lens (unlike my other cat, Gavana, who loooves the limelight), we had very few (if any) pictures of them together. For several shots Basha just would not look at me and then - for a moment, she looked straight at me. This is one of my favorite photos I have of her.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lemon Cookies

This is an old photo I took of some cookies we made for our baking club. The cookies actually weren't all that great, but today I was browsing through some of my older photos and came across this one. I can't remember if I even knew what an aperture was at this point... but it's a decent photo. Nothing spectacular; but sometimes it's good to go back and see what you were taking photos of a year or two or three ago.

Speaking of cookies... Erica is having a giveaway on her cooking blog, Cooking for Seven (if you have not visited this blog before and you're a food photographer, go there NOW and get inspired with her beautiful food photography!). She's giving away free cookies and a cookbook from Tate's Kitchen. I don't know about you, but I love looking at cookbooks and seeing how they do their photography, and learning from it. All it takes is a comment to enter, so what do you have to lose?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Review: Kelly Moore Camera Bags

My mom got a Kelly Moore brown hobo style camera bag for her birthday this year. Even though it's not mine, I thought I could still review it here on my blog. The bag is very cute and definitely looks more like a purse than a camera bag (which is the idea).

It is rather large, so if you don't like big bags, you probably wouldn't care for it. It would be hard, however, to find a bag much smaller that holds more than just your camera. The Kelly Moore bag has plenty of room for your camera body with a lens on it, and at least two more lenses, plus 3 outer zippered pockets (small, for a wallet or some other slim item). The top zips closed and has a flap with magnetic closure over it. I'm a fan of zippers on bags - holds things more securely.

The bag is very well made, of nice materials and has fun purple lining. :-) The inside has moveable velcro dividers so you can adjust to your size camera and the lenses or equipment you will be carrying. It also came with two sizes of straps, a long one as you see is in use in the picture, and a shorter one for use as a handbag (though I found even the short one is long enough to put over your shoulder if you still like a shoulder bag but don't like it to hang down so far).

Another thing I'd like to mention - while it doesn't have anything to do with the bag itself, I was impressed with the packaging it came in. The bag arrived in a nice white protective bag with the Kelly Moore logo on it, rather than just being in your typical plastic bag.
I like this bag a lot and I just may have to borrow it from my mom sometime, if she'll let me. *winks* It's not cheap, but if you are looking for a quality bag that's also stylish and doesn't look like a regular, boring camera bag, you'll want to consider Kelly Moore. Click HERE to view more colors and styles. Available from Adorama.

*Disclaimer: I was not paid to do this review.  I was under no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Monday, December 6, 2010

I Heart Faces "Self-Portrait" Challenge

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you will have seen this photo before... I posted it a while back in my post on self-portraits. I decided to bring it back for this week's i heart faces theme. Can I just say again that I L.O.V.E. my harp??

Saturday, December 4, 2010


We've just had our first heavy snow! We had a few flurries earlier this week, but it was hardly worth mentioning. This morning we woke up to a blanket of snow around 4 inches thick!

My patient and ever-ready model (my sister!) and I headed out to snap some photos.

We hope you like the first photo and the one below because while I was taking it, the hat I was wearing fell off into the fenced garden... and there are weeds blocking the gateway in. Therefore, the heroine of the moment went to rescue the hat, and found herself stuck in the above position, until I rescued her (sort of).

This one's very similar to the first one but we liked them both, and being indecisive, could only decide to post both of them.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Turkey

Well, a week after Thanksgiving... are you still eating turkey? We still have leftovers! :-) At least our turkey was exceptionally good this year! Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside... mmmmm....

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Photography Contest!

All you photographers out there... check out this contest! It's open to Christian ladies of all ages and the deadline is December 31, 2010 - you can enter as many pictures as you want (and it's free to enter). If you win you will get a free (Blogger) blog design and a free Fracture frame!

Photo Contest Banner

Here are some sales you might be interested in:
Graphic Design at
Fine Art Photography Prints at

Monday, November 22, 2010

I Heart Faces "Paper" Challenge

The Letter
"The Letter"
My sister loves to sew; this photo is of her dressed up in an 1840's gown she made based on a dress in the movie "Cranford." If you have seen the movie, the character Sophie Hutton wears a gown similar to this dress. This was a fun photo shoot with her dressed up reading a letter. This theme interested me because there are so many ways you could use paper in a photo! It was fun to set up this shot; she had to get all dressed up, we curled and pinned up her hair, I wrote her a two page letter with my quill pen and sealed it with red wax.
11-27 ~ I just found out I made the top 10 with this photo! 9th place - yippeee!

 i heart faces top ten button

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Garlic is a Beautiful Thing

Do you ever have the urge to take pictures of the randomest things? (Is randomest a word? If it wasn't, it is now). I have that urge all the time. :-) Like taking pictures of garlic. I filled up our garlic reservoir (can you tell we use it a lot??) and it hit me. I HAD to take a picture. Or several. And then I couldn't decide which one I liked best... so I'm posting them all.

I couldn't decide if I liked this one horizontal or vertical... I lean toward horizontal, but then I look at the vertical one again and I like that too.

Two questions I would ask you about these, if you have the time to comment and answer me:
1. Which is your favorite?
2. Would you buy one of these as a print to hang in your kitchen? Or is your first thought, "Why on earth would I hang a picture of garlic in my kitchen?"

You never know, if I get some responses to my question I just *might* consider giving away a print... unless everyone's response is "are you crazy?" :-)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Please vote for me!

*EDIT: Thanks to everyone who voted! I ended up in 11th place in the voting, which counts for 40% of the score, the remaining score to be counted by judges. Winners are supposed to be announced on Dec. 10.*
This is not photography related - but I entered a kid's bedtime story contest and need people (lots of people!!) to vote on my story. I'd really appreciate if you would vote for me HERE . You can vote multiple times (once per day, per person, per computer), so please come back and vote each day. It ends November 22, 2010. THANK YOU!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I Heart Faces "Silhouette" Challenge

Prayer at Sunset

Confession: I have never taken a silhouette photo before. Ever. (I take that back - I did take one of a hummingbird once, back when I really knew nothing about photography!). So this week's i heart faces challenge was intriguing to me and made me try something new! My original ideas didn't work out so this was a very last minute, "quick, try this!" photo. I figured I might as well enter it as not. :-) Visit i heart faces to see some really fantastic silhouettes!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Japanese Maples in the Fall

We have several Japanese Maple bushes on our property. They have beautifully shaped leaves and their color is beautiful year round, but especially in the Fall like most trees and bushes. I was outside (without a coat - I know, very smart of me) and it was frigid but I took a second to snap these photos of the leaves.

P.S. Don't forget to vote daily HERE! Only a week to go!

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Feline Friends

I love the kitties in my life. People who don't love cats must never have owned one - my personal belief is that they are far superior to dogs. You may beg to differ; everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

This is my charming Gavana. She drives me batty at times, but she makes up for it by being the poochiest, cutest kitty ever.
And I have to admit she has some great whiskers.

This is Bertie. He belongs to some very dear friends and is just the sweetest thing. He loves to give kisses and he is so pudgy. Talk about a cat with character.
As a general rule I like to do minimal editing on my photos to keep them natural looking, but this photo had some sun haze and I decided to do some vintage-y processing on it. Thoughts?

And here's Smoochie - Bertie's little sister (not littermates - but both live with the same family). Smoochie is a crack up; she goes crazy whenever my sister holds her. But she's a darling snuggler when she wants to be.

And last but most certainly not least... our sweet Basha. Basha is 16 and is not doing so well now. She has lived a full life and has brought us much joy. I don't think we'll ever have another cat like her.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Crabapple Blossom Close-Up

To put that in perspective, that flower is approximately the size of a quarter. I always love taking pictures of crabapple trees in the spring because of the clouds of tiny flowers, but this past spring I found it was fun to get up close too.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I Heart Faces "Orange" Challenge

Orange Blossom

Here is my entry for the i heart faces "Orange" challenge. I had a hard time with coming up with a photo for this one (I guess that's why it's called a challenge, right?) but finally decided on this picture - my lovely sis!


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