Friday, January 29, 2010

Favorite {Photo} Friday--I See The Moon and The Moon Sees Me

This has been a rough week. I mean, a really, really rough week. Monday started out incredibly well with a dinner with some friends; I got some much-needed face-to-face conversation with women and it was amazing. But everything slid downhill fast fast fast after that. I'm fine; I'll be fine. I'm not dying, Jason and I are as strong as ever. But I'm not going to say any more than that, except to ask that if you have any spare prayers or positive thoughts laying around, I could really use some sent my way. Thank you.

Tonight was the Wolf Moon, as I just learned thanks to Twitter, so I put on some gloves and grabbed my tripod and took my camera out onto the back deck.

I'm still learning photographic tricks and I'm still learning my camera, but I'm pretty happy with this one, all things considered! And by "all things" I mean that my tripod was balanced on three different objects and I was perched on a stool and it was freezing cold out and I had gloves on and couldn't see any of the buttons on my camera so I kept pressing the wrong ones. LOL!

We're supposed to get a bunch of snow tomorrow so we're cuddled in hoping to stay warm, and the fridge is stocked ! Have a great weekend!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Project 365, Week 4

I'm still totally loving this whole Project 365 thing! (As always, click on the photo if you want to see it much larger and read the journaling. Then click back to this post, please!)

This project is definitely teaching me some things. This week I learned that I need to get out more, and that I eat a lot of fruit and like photographing it. :) I also learned that just because you design and sell Photoshop templates online, that doesn't mean you know how to do math. I'm sure you can't notice it on here, but the two middle photos and journaling spots (the coffee mug and the dead rose) are slightly thinner than the others. In fact, all of the strips are slightly different widths. This kind of thing totally annoys me; I mean, can't you do the math and make all the strips the same? It would be really easy to do! So easy, in fact, that I'm considering redoing this template before I use it again, just so all the strips are even. Yes, I know, I'm a tad anal detail-oriented; it's quite charming once you get to know me. :)

In case you're wondering, I usually upload photos and add them to the template every day or at least every other day; I don't want to ever feel like I have to "catch up" because then I will just say, "Aw, screw it!" and I'll stop doing the whole thing and just have some random unfinished album with a few weeks of these layouts, hanging over my head as yet another sign that I don't finish everything I start. And we don't want that! :) It usually takes me about ten minutes per day to upload photos, fix them if need be, add them to the template, and write out my journaling. Towards the end of the week I start choosing the colors for the journaling spots based on the colors in the photos, and that can take ten minutes or an hour depending on how I'm feeling and how much free time I have and whether or not Jason is watching football. Then when I'm all done with each week, it takes me about ten minutes to save the file as a jpg, upload it to Costco, order two prints, and then re-size the original image for posting here. So, all told, it takes me about an hour and a half per week I guess. That sounds like a lot! I think I could do it faster, but I enjoy the process so I like to take my time.

Thanks for looking, and let me know if you have any questions!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Favotre {Photo} Friday--Grandpa Earl

Today was kind of a rough day, emotionally. The kind of day where you have a complete hormonal meltdown in the kitchen and have to sit down in the middle of the floor. Jason was awesome and eased me out of it, and then just as I was coming back into my normal self, I happened to look at my perpetual/special dates calendar and saw that today is my Grandpa's birthday.

And then I started crying again.

My grandpa's been gone for many years now, but I still get choked up every time I think of him, because I just miss him so damn much.

So I started digging through my boxes of photos, looking for an old photo of my grandpa on his favorite horse, when he was so young and handsome and looked kind of like Roy Rogers. My aunt had the original scanned in and gave me a copy of it not too long after he died. But I couldn't find it, so I started crying again.

So instead, I'm going to show you two other photos that my aunt gave me. Several years ago she took all the photos that my mom had sent her while my sister and I were growing up, and she put them all into albums for us. Which is so awesome! Anyway, here we go:

I love that he's wearing the party hat. :) I'm the one in the back apparently trying to figure out how to operate a party horn.

Here I'm younger, obviously. I still remember that stuffed animal, it had a music box inside that would play when you wound up a key sticking out of its hip. :)

I love how engaged he is with us/me in both of these photos.

I love how this past Christmas, at home in Oregon, we talked about him and retold a couple of his many, many, many stories. He was such an amazing storyteller. I want to capture some of these stories, put them on paper, while I still remember and have family to help me remember what I've already forgotten.

But now, I'm emotionally spent. I'm cried out. So instead, I'll just tell a short story that always makes me smile to remember.

When I was in college I was home for a summer break. Grandpa was over and I was heading out to meet a boy (I don't even remember who and of course it doesn't matter). As I was walking out the door, Grandpa yelled,

"Be good!

And if you can't be good, be careful!

And if you can't be careful, name it after me!"

Quite a sense of humor, my Grandpa Earl had. Love you and miss you sooooo much, Grandpa.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Project 365, Week 3 & a How-To

I'm really loving this Project 365 thing! Here's Week 3 (click on any of the photos to see them larger):

This week I did what I did for Week 1, pulling the colors out of the photos to use as the journaling and title spots. This layout had an extra spot for journaling so I used a little clip art that says Brrrrrr (I think I got it from Scrap-N-Fonts). I also used a "dingbat" font called CK Where It's At to do the little arrows pointing to which photo goes with the journaling. Other than that I stuck with the same font and basic pattern as with the previous two weeks.

I'm also loving how easy it is to upload these to Costco and get prints! I thought I'd quickly show how I'm doing it and why. Costco offers many prints sizes, two of which are 12x12" and 12x18", and both of these two sizes are $2.99 each. I want this big photo, shown above, to be 12x24" overall, or two 12x12" pages, so that it will fit into my scrapbook. But when printers print photos, a little bit of the outside edge is cut off. Since I have such a skinny little white strip in the middle of these two pages, if I had them printed just as two 12x12s, that little white strip would probably be cut off from the edges of both sides and it would look odd when I put the two pages together. So I have them printed as 12x18s and cut them myself; it's the same price and I know what I'll be getting! I just upload the complete "page spread" to, and then I order a 12x18" print twice... once cropped all the way over to the left, and once cropped all the way over to the right. So I end up with this:

You can see that I end up with 6" of overlap on both sides. Now I just need to cut them down to fit into my album. Using my trusty Fiskars trimmer, first I line up the top so that the cutting blade is in the middle of that white strip.

Then I move the trimmer blade (without cutting!) down to the bottom of the page to double-check the alignment to make sure that it will cut through the middle of the white line all the way from top to bottom.

Once I get it aligned then I just trim right through it and end up with a 12x12" page and a 6x12" scrap.

Do the same thing for the other piece. Make sure you line up the line where you want to cut, don't trust the ruler.

Measure twice, cut once. :) Double-check the bottom, too--I always have to rearrange the photo to make sure it's lined up properly.

Then cut!

Now I have two 12x12" pages that look just like my original 12x24" page spread!

Slide them into the album's page protectors and voilĂ !

Then I cut up my scraps and put the photos into my scrapbooking photo storage, in case I want to scrap about any of the individual photos.

Here's the Title Page/Week 1 in the album:

And here's Week 2.

Thanks for looking! :) And it's never too late if you want to start doing a photo-a-day project, nobody says you had to start on January 1! :)

If you don't have the time or the inclination to do digital or traditional scrapbook photos, check out Project Life from Becky Higgins (now distributed by Amazon!). It comes with everything you need to make an album, including page protectors with slots so you just have to slide in a photo, write on one of the including journaling cards, and slide that into the next slot. Perfect for busy moms who want to remember those little moments and funny things your kids say and do but don't have a lot of time. I got it for my sister for Christmas! You don't have to use it to do Project 365 or photo-a-day, you can just use it for any photos you happen to take and want to jot down a little note about! No, I'm not a paid spokesperson, just an advocate for documenting your memories! :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Favorite {Photo} Friday--The Dance in The Dalles

Apparently it's "Retro Week" on Facebook, so everyone is posting old photos of themselves. My best friend from high school, Lisa, is here this weekend for a convention and I drove in today to have lunch with her and her mom (who came along since it's a fun convention). So I decided to find an old photo of the two of us, which I'm sure she'll love. If you didn't hear the sarcasm in that, trust me, it's there. :)

The story that goes along with this photo is almost too much to believe. Looking back it seems completely asinine that we even did this, but then again, it was high school; pretty much everything we did in high school was utterly ridiculous! :)

Now, I'll try to keep this as simple as possible, but pay attention, 'kay? So Lisa was friends with a girl named Sarah. Sarah was on the swim team, and in her travels for swim meets she met a boy, whose name I cannot begin to remember, who went to another school about two hours away in a town called The Dalles. Sarah being a teenage girl, of course she liked him even though he lived far away; she probably liked him more because he lived far away, drama being a primary tenet of teenage girlhood. So this boy--let's just call him Brian, to make it easier--asked her to come to a formal dance at his school. Even though he lived two hours away. So she somehow cons her mom into this plan, whereby Sarah will bring Lisa along, and Brian will ask a friend, and it will be a foursome going to the dance. Oh, and Lisa and Sarah would stay overnight at Brian's mom's house, did I mention that part?

At the last minute, Sarah's mom comes to her senses grounds Sarah for something or other, and says she can't go to the dance. And here's where it should have ended, right?

But Lisa and I, being the sweet girls we were, just felt awful for these two boys we'd never even met, suddenly dateless to a big formal dance. I mean, just imagine. Like, how totally, like, embarrassing!!

So we decide that we will come to the rescue, and I will go in Sarah's place. Even though neither Lisa nor I have met either of the boys. Even though it's two hours away in the middle of winter. Even though I don't have a dress and I have to borrow one from our friend Alyson who is much more beautiful and dramatic than me and could actually pull off enormous shoulder poofs.

My mom talks to Brian's mom and is assured that we'll be safe and she won't let Brian sneak into our room in the middle of the night and all that jazz. So, just like that, we pack our bags and our dresses and get ready to drive two hours to go to a dance with some guys we don't even know. Lisa's step-dad John puts the tire chains into the trunk of Lisa's awesome Chevy Cavalier, just in case we need them, and we head out.

When we're almost to The Dalles, we take a wrong exit. And in the process of turning around, someone starts to drive down this enormously huge hill. In the snow. In a Chevy Cavalier. There's a parking lot about halfway down the hill, so I urge her to pull in. But as soon as she turns the wheel, the car slides sideways and the wheels start spinning and we're stuck. So I get out of the car, trying to check out the situation, and Lisa keeps spinning the wheels. And I just start laughing, hysterically. So I'm standing outside in the snow laughing so hard I can barely breathe, and Lisa's inside the car, spinning the wheels and crying and screaming at me, "It's not funny!" This is what friendships are made of, for sure.

The car is at an angle across the road on a hill, so I decide the only thing to do is to drive the rest of the way down the hill so we can get to a flat spot to put on the chains. So we get down the hill, and I ask Lisa how we put on the chains, because John had said that he'd show her.

John only told her. Telling a high school girl something she doesn't want to know and doesn't think she'll need to know is exactly the same as not telling her at all.

But I'm a smart girl, I'm sure I can figure out tire chains, right? In my letterman's jacket and cotton gloves, in the snow?

Let's just say that there was more crying and more laughing by both of us, and NO ONE offered to help us. Eventually I figured it out, with frequent breaks back in the car to warm up my FROZEN hands, and we made it back up the hill. At the top of the hill it turned out that there was a bar, and for some reason a lot of men were sitting outside the bar on benches under an awning. Just as we drove past them, one of the chains came off, so I made Lisa stop the car so I could go back and pick it up. All the men watched me walk back to the chain, pick it up, walk back to the car, put it in the trunk, and get back in the car, while they said not a single word, let alone offering to help. This used to make me really mad, until I realized that they were sitting on benches outside a bar on a Saturday morning in the freezing cold January weather while it snowed; I don't want to say they were mentally deficient, but let's just say that they probably wouldn't have been much help to us anyway!!

Eventually we made it to the correct exit, and met the guys, which was hilarious in its level of awkwardness. We went back to Brian's house and got all gussied up and Brian's mom took our picture!

Then we went to the dance, which was weird and incredibly awkward, because of course everyone at the dance was staring at us like, "Who the heck are they? And where did that blond girl get that ridiculous dress? And why isn't she standing up straight?" Lisa and I kept trading the guys as partners, because Brian's friend (far left) was weird and neither of us wanted to slow dance with him. Eventually we all went back to Brian's mom's house and played this totally fun game called True Colors. Lisa and I looked for it for years afterward and could never find it, but it looks like a re-released version is available on Amazon now! I'm tempted to buy it but of course it wouldn't ever be the same (not to mention that I have a ton of games that we never even play!).

In the end of course I'm glad we went, because this is one of those stories that are such a part of our friendship. But seriously? How nuts!

Happy long weekend!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Project 365, Weeks 1 and 2

Now that I have a camera that I'm friends with, I decided to join in the Project 365 craze that's been going around the interwebs for a whole bunch of years now. The basic idea is to take a photo every day for 365 days, and at the end of the year you'll have an interesting portrait of your life, in 365 individual moments.

Some people put these into Flickr streams, or have blogs dedicated to their 365 Projects. But because I'm a scrapbooker, of course I decided to do weekly layouts with the photos! Since I'm also becoming friends with Photoshop, I decided to make these digital pages for now; I can do everything on the computer so I can get them done no matter how much of a giant mess my scrap area is. :) I bought a few templates and as the year goes on and I learn more, I may make things fancier with other elements, or make my own templates. Or I may switch and do some physical paper layouts. Or a hybrid of both. Or I might miss a few days or a week and then just give up on the whole thing altogether. :) But for now, it's digital. I want to keep it simple-simple so that it's easy and I keep doing it! :)

I decided to do my weeks from Monday-Sunday. Every Monday I'll work on the previous weeks' layout and then post it here on Tuesdays. That's the goal, anyway! Click on either of the photos to see them BIG (and then use the back button on your browser to come back here).

I wasn't sure what I was going to do for the first week since it was only three days, plus I wanted a title page... but the template set I bought came with a fifth template that isn't listed, and that worked perfectly! I just flipped it on its side and voilĂ , title page + three days.

I actually did this page after doing the page(s) below. Since it's also the title page for the whole album I didn't want to use just blues for cold January, so I just pulled the colors from the photos. The top teal was picked from the peppermint tea wrappers, the yellow journaling spot from the other tea wrapper, the blue from the speakerphone bar on the phone, and the green from part of the Brussels sprouts. I like this so I'll probably do it more throughout the year.

On the layout for the first full week of January I decided to change all the colors to blues because it's been coooold here. I just randomly chose blues in the color picker in Photoshop; if I did it over again I would choose differently, but hey, it's done! :)

I chose a messy typewriter font because... well, because I like it, basically, and I can imagine using it throughout the entire year. It's called Traveling Typewriter and you can find it here for free.

I also decided to not try to journal about each day in its entirety and just to do a sentence or so about the photo; again, keeping it easy! That way if I get to the end of a crazy week there's no pressure to remember every detail, just something about the photo and its significance (if there is any!).

I'm having these printed at Costco because they print 12x12 for $2.99 and it's very convenient for me (again, EASY), then I'll slide them into a 12x12 album. It's also convenient because I don't have to digitally split the pages on the above 12 x 24" spread... I just upload the original jpg and then order one print cropped all the way to the left, and one print cropped all the way to the right. My first order is actually waiting for me so I'll let you know how they turn out when I pick them up!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Favorite {Photo} Friday--Books

I've mentioned before how much I love books. I also love supporting small businesses, recycling, and getting a good deal. So imagine my sheer and utter disappointment when I drove to my local used bookstore back in December and it wasn't there. Their big sign was gone and there was just no trace of them.

Seriously? I almost cried.

I'm so dependent on used bookstores (that one and online) that when I realized earlier this week that I need to buy a copy of Cry, The Beloved Country for my book club next week, I had a moment of panic. Now that my bookstore was closed, where would I get the book? There wasn't enough time to order it online! [It never even occurred to me to go to Borders or Barnes & Noble!]

So I drug myself into the shower and then threw on some clothes and slapped on some makeup, to leave the house for the first time in a week. I was planning to go to the library to check it out, which I don't like to do for book club because I can't make notes in the margins and dog-ear pages. But before I could do that I had to go to the bank, which meant that I had to drive past the shopping center where the used book store used to be.

And then I saw it. At the opposite end of the shopping center, there it was!! My used bookstore! In a bigger location!

Seriously? I almost cried again, but this time for joy!

And what's even better? I know, I could hardly believe it myself that there could be anything better, but there was: a free books bin outside the front door!

All of these beauties were in it! Essential Keats, a book of short stories set in Oregon (my beloved home state), the B and G volumes of an old World Book encyclopedia, and an old edition of the Merck Manual I can understand. But To Kill a Mockingbird and Gone With The Wind? In hardcover? In any event, I snatched them right up! I also got some other fun falling-apart stuff that I'll use in collage (that's why I got the Merck and the encyclopedias, too).

Oh, and I got Cry, The Beloved Country for $3.28, as well as an Agatha Christie novel for $.81!


I still need to do a post on my One Little Word and the necklace I'll be offering for it... I haven't forgotten, just been holed up trying to get well. :)

Have a great weekend! :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2009 Review

I'm sick and hopped up on cold meds, but wanted to post something about 2009... thanks to Stella for the list! :)

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Visited Colorado; we'd driven through it before but I hadn't really seen anything. It's a beautiful state and Jason and I had a hard time leaving!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't really make any specific resolutions, I just had general things I wanted to focus on this past year. In some areas I did a great job, and in other areas I didn't. So I'm refocusing on those areas that still need improvement this year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! Kellie had Carli (shown below), Nicole had twin girls, and a TON of my friends are pregnant (two with twins!). And Erin gave birth to Tommy on the stairs in her house, which I'm mentioning because if you haven't read about it before, you really should now, it's hilarious and amazing! And I can't believe I live 3000 miles away from this baby, isn't she adorable? Miss you, Kel, and I can't wait to meet Carli!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My amazing friend Shannon was a Chemo Pal for a little girl named Natasha. I donated to Shannon's runs and triathlons to raise money for Leukemia & Lymphoma, and I followed along with Natasha's CaringBridge site. I never met Natasha but I feel like I knew her, I sent her presents, and I was heartbroken when she lost her battle.

5. What countries did you visit?
None. {Sob!}

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A fitter, healthier, skinnier body; more willpower; a more organized house so I'm comfortable having people over.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
For better or worse, I'm not a big "date" person. I don't really have strong emotional ties to certain dates other than birthdays and anniversaries of immediate family members, and even have a hard time remembering those sometimes! I think of people who have passed (my friend Doug, my Grandpa Earl, my Grandma Evelyn) all the time, and I remember the time of year that they passed, but not the dates. So when I think of things I'll remember about this year, they're not really tied to specific dates. That said:
  • Most of July of this year is pretty memorable, for both good and bad reasons.
  • I remember the exact moment that Jen found me at Inspired and I realized that she was as excited to see me as I was to see her (below is a photo of Jen, Aimee, and me at Inspired)!

  • The whole Miracle on the Hudson thing will stick with me, too, because I happened to have the TV on when it happened, and I was truly terrified for everyone on board; I sat watching and praying and crying and it was almost too good to be true when they announced everyone was safe!
  • My friend Jilliene in California had brain surgery and I couldn't do anything until I knew she was okay, to the point that I started calling hospitals until I found out where she was, kept calling back until she was out of surgery, and finally talked to her husband! :)
  • I remember the moment when Jason called me from Georgia and told me "I'm okay, but I wrecked the bike... they're taking me to the ER now."

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finishing the Avon Walk (photo below, yes, it was pouring rain) and raising $4000 was pretty big, as was meeting my goal to list 30 new items in my Etsy shop in September!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not getting as much done in the house as I wanted.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I think I was sick for the first three months of the year.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Hrm, this is a tough one. I'll say plane tickets, I bought a lot of those!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Jason was a truly amazing husband this year (photo below); my sister Tauni made a parenting decision that really impressed me and is really helping her family; Jilliene stayed positive and active despite enduring crippling pain and brain surgery and the disappointment of the crippling pain coming back. I don't know how she does it!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Most people on the news, which is why I don't watch! Politicians, celebrities, and the fact that they spend so much time on the media reporting it all. BLEH.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Traveling to visit friends and family, jewelry supplies (although I made that back!), arts & crafts supplies.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Seeing Kellie in Seattle, the Avon Walk, Inspired artist workshop and seeing my friends again, CHA with Lori, seeing my nieces (photo below), my 15-year high school reunion, going on a vacation with Jason, making it out of DC during the big snowstorm!!

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
Black Eyed Peas' I Got a Feeling.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier I think
b) thinner or fatter? fatter for sure
c) richer or poorer? richer by a smidge

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Exercising, calling friends, blogging, organizing the house.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Eating!, being annoyed, watching tv, being depressed.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With family at home in Oregon. We spent Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas Day with Jason's family (part of the spread, below).

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
Over and over again with Jason... cheesy but true!

22. What was your favorite new TV program?
Glee! I also love The Good Wife, and I became addicted to Criminal Minds even though it's not a new show, it's new to me... same for Bones, I love that show! :)

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Yikes, hate is a very strong word! I don't even think that I dislike anyone this year that I liked last year.

24. What was the best book you read?
I love The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. It's not new but I read it last January and it is amazing.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I love music but I'm so out of it when it comes to who's new and knowing who all the cool bands are. My sister gave me a Brandi Carlisle CD for my birthday, though, and I love it!

26. What did you want and get?
A new camera (below), a new vacuum cleaner, a new mattress; new friends; to travel to visit friends and family.

27. What did you want and not get?
More local friends; to travel abroad; skinny. :)

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
We didn't see that many new movies because we rarely go to the theater, but I loved The Blind Side.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 34 this year. A couple weeks before my birthday we went out to dinner at an amazing Italian restaurant in DC called Tosca and then went to see our favorite comedian, Mike Birbiglia. It wasn't on my birthday but I always forget that because it felt like a birthday date. On my actual birthday we went to a local Italian restaurant which was more expensive and not as good as Tosca. :) My awesome sister-in-law, Angella, got me gift certificates to Tosca for my birthday and Christmas so I'm excited to go back! :) The photo is not great but it tasted divine; the best Italian food I've had since we've been back.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
[This answer is not suitable for public posting.]

31. Describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Do yoga pants count as a fashion concept? I hit my heaviest weight (ever!) in November and most of the clothes in my closet don't fit, enough said?

32. What kept you sane?
Hope. And talking to trusted friends on the phone/via e-mial/via online chat/via text. And wine. And hot, hot baths. And good books. And making art. And eating, obviously, damnit!

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Mark Wahlberg, same as always. :) I mean, c'mon!

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
The war.

35. Who did you miss?
My nieces, they're growing up so quickly and I really hate that I'm missing so much. I saw them twice this year and I hope to visit again in the Spring. I also really, really miss all of my artist friends who live all over North America!

36. Who was the best new person you met?
It's kind of a tie. Technically I met Lori in 2008, but we became a lot closer this year and she's one of my best friends now (photo below). And technically I haven't met Erin, but after she ordered a necklace from me we found each other on Twitter and Facebook and our blogs, and through her I found a bunch of other awesome ladies who all live in NW Indiana (NWI) and are on Twitter and have blogs. I feel like they're all new friends even though I haven't actually met any of them, but I'm constantly inspired by them and they make me LAUGH more than anyone else online! Maybe I'll have to make a trip to NWI this year! :) Oh! And when I was in Orlando I met Lori's friend Anke, whom I adore and wish the three of us lived on the same cul-de-sac.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
Oh, Lordy. I guess I'll just say that hope springs eternal.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I can't say that it "sums up" the year, but it certainly came to have a lot of meaning to me, even more than it did before. I wanted a necklace for myself so I made it and listed it on Etsy, and it sold, like, immediately--within minutes--to a husband for his wife's birthday. So I made another one and re-listed it, and a woman ordered two matching ones as a very, very special gift for two twin teenage girls who had just lost their older brother; the three of them used to sing this song together, and I put little hearts on the back with the brother's initials. Then I made it again and it encouraged someone to ask me for a custom piece with her special song on it. And people just kept buying it, telling me how special it was and how they were so excited to have it or give it as a gift, which is my favorite thing about my business. Finally I did make myself one to wear, and I wore it all through the holidays. I love it.

Rise up this mornin'
Smile with the risin' sun
Three little birds
Perch by my doorstep
Singin' sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Singin' this is my message to you:

Don't worry
About a thing
Every little thing
Is gonna be alright

--Three Little Birds, Bob Marley

Friday, January 1, 2010

Favorite {Photo} Friday--SOOC

I think I'm going to like this new camera, oh yes I do!

I realize that this is not a prize-winning or inspiring photo, but if you'd ever used my old camera you would understand how excellent this is.

This photo is straight out of the camera (SOOC). I didn't have to edit the brightness or contrast or color or anything. And it's of food. Often food will come out looking less-than-appetizing when photographed--that's why they make the food inedible by coating it with sprays and lacquers when they photograph food for magazines!

This is our lunch at the airport when we flew home from Oregon to DC. The Portland airport (PDX) was ranked the best airport in the country by Conde Nast Traveler... for three years in a row! 2006, 2007, and 2008... in 2009 it slipped to second place. Growing up in Oregon I didn't travel by plane a lot, but obviously the airport I spent the most time at was PDX, even if it was just to pick someone up. Remember the time before cell phones and the internet (and the internet on cell phones!) when you had to wait around airports for delayed flights? Ah, childhood. Anyway, PDX was my reference for what airports were all about, so when I grew up and started traveling around, other airports shocked and appalled me with their lack of recycling or their griminess or their waaaaaay overpriced and/or totally mediocre food. Portland rocks. And this meal was no exception; totally delicious salads, onion rings, and dark beer, for reasonable prices, and with excellent service. Imagine!

But back to the subject, I really think I'm going to like this new camera. And I've almost completely gotten used to the redness of it; I don't even say, involuntarily and out loud, "It's RED" like I did for the first three days whenever I saw it. :) I need to put my 50mm 1.4 lens on her and see what we can do then, wheeeee!

I'm getting sick so I'm going to save my "Hooray for 2010" posts for later this week, but they're coming... hopefully, assuming this cold doesn't knock me down and out! I'll also be announcing my One Little Word and a special necklace deal!

Happy New Year!