Friday, November 19, 2010

Winner Winner We Have a Winner!

Oh my there were some good ones this time!  Everyone must love Starbucks!!!

There were a couple of Oasis names, and a few Jungle ones that were pretty good.  However, I wanted to make special mention of Arenwen's Jurassic Salad Bar because it made me laugh.  And I was really drwan to Tamlin's Free Adventure: Start Here.  I was also pretty giggly about Wolf's Three Clowns Walk Into A Bar...  I didn't understand it mind you, but it did make me giggle.

But ultimately, I went with a facebook entry, Jennifer's Ascent in Frondescence because it was intriguing enough to make me go look up the word "Frondescence" 

1. the process, state, or period of putting forth leaves
2. leaves; foliage

CONGRATS JENNIFER!  I'll message you on facebook to get your address so I can send your prize out this weekend.  Thank you to EVERYONE who played!

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Photoshopping It!

So, here's the original SOOC shot I took at the arboretum with my friend Wendy.

The first thing I did was run the dodge tool over the steps a few times to lighten it up.  I really like the red that came out.

Then I ran Pioneer Woman's Boost action twice:  I liked it, but it didn't really "speak" to me.

So I added another action called Troy to the mix.  I love how it muted everything but the steps!

Then I added Pioneer Woman's Sunshine action on top of Boost and Troy.  It's a pretty unique look don't you think?

Then I looked at Troy all by itself without Boost and Sunshine and it looked like this.  It turned out just a little too "dead" looking.

I finally settled on just the Sunshine action.  I love that I can stack actions, mix and match them. Try one at a time or all at once.  It really allows me a lot of flexibility in my final piece.

 I liked the warmth in this one the best.  The stair was still pretty highlighted.  I'm like a lizard, I'm drawn to warm things!

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Water Bug

I took this photo again at the LA Arboretum with my friend Wendy.  And let me just tell you, I love everything about this photo.  I love the composition.  I love that it's got two of my favorite subjects in it. I love that Bunny is helping Bug get some water. I love the dirt smudge on Bug's face, the colors reflected in the faucet and Bug's cute little tongue sticking out.  But my favorite part is the drop of water just falling off his face.  I know, I'm weird. 

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Give this Photo a Name Contest

Last weekend my friend Wendy came to visit from Washington state.  One of the things we did was head back to the LA Arboretum to explore a bit more.  We found a few more hidden places I hadn't seen last time I was there.  This is one of the photos that I think turned out the best and since I hadn't done a contest in a while, this was perfect!

I did mess with this image quite a bit, but I'll show you all of that in a later post!

The rules are simple, just give this photo a title.  Something descriptive and creative.

Winner will be chosen next Thursday night and will win a $20 Starbucks gift certificate!
Good luck and thanks for playing!

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Saturday, November 13, 2010


It's very true that we all have our own demons to fight and conquer.  And often, I am thankful for the challenges presented to me every day, that are uniquely my own.  It helps me grow as a person in strength and integrity.  They test my will and my patience.  Especially my patience.  In the end, I hope these demons help mold me into a stronger and happier person for myself and for my family.

Usually though, my demons don't live in the same house with me.  Require food, clothing and shelter, and occasionally hair dye. 

This particular demon is crabby in the morning.

Oral hygiene doesn't seem to be an issue though.  Just look at those white teeth!

She's got some sort of skin disease.  I wonder if we should get that looked at by a professional.

And despite the weird acne, my demon is pretty cute.  I guess there are worse demons to live with.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

PS Sorry these Halloween photos are so late and I haven't been posting much.  In retail - even web retail - this time of year is our busiest.  I promise to be better in the future.  Or rather, I promise to try to be better.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Momma Bear Syndrome

I'm struggling.

I found out through a parent / teacher conference I attended for Bunny yesterday, that at a field trip she went to last week, one of the other kids (not in her class) said something mean to her.  Her feelings were hurt enough she almost cried.  Sitting there yesterday as her teacher relayed this information, at that short table in a chair that was way too small for my big adult butt, I died a little inside.

If you haven't met Bunny, let me lay it out for you.  My girl is over the top.  She's outrageous, energetic, loving, happy - oh so happy, and fun.  She has her moments of pouty-ness and tantrums mind you, but on a general whole, she's a very happy, sweet girl.  And she wants nothing more than to be everyone's friend. 

Now, even though I'm her mom, I can see how overwhelming my girl can be.  I get it.  And sometimes she's just too much.  So I understand how not everyone would instantly love her, or even want to be her friend.  I do.  But to say something openly mean to her??  Wow, I'm welling up in tears just thinking about it.  My girl.  My sweet, funny, and loving girl having her heart broken.  Having her spirit broken by some thoughtless remark, by some mean intention.  Who would do that?  You don't have to love her.  You don't even have to be her friend.  But don't be mean to my kid.  Seriously.

So I'm struggling today.  Every time I think about it, I just want to hold her close and tell her it doesn't matter what some mean kid says.  Of course, I don't.  This happened almost a week ago and I don't want to make it into some huge deal.  But I will tell her I love her.  I will tell her that she's a wonderful, amazing, smart, and beautiful girl.  And I will try to reinforce in her the self love she will need to grow into a strong and confident woman.  And thankfully, she had two wonderful teachers (her's and another) who walked her through how to handle it when people say mean things.  Those two teachers are my heros.  They lifted my girl's spirits.  They reinforced that what that kid said holds no water.  Reinforced that she's worthy when I couldn't be there.  Thank you Mrs. Huezo and Mrs. Davis! 

And still, I can't seem to let go of the bitterness at this kid who hurt my child.  And bitter that Bunny has to learn these kinds of life lessons at age 4.  A friend of mine says that kids are pure in their hearts and it's adults that teach them hate and bias.  So as angry as I am for Bunny and her hurt feelings, I'm also sad for that little kid, who probably learned by example to say mean things, also at the tender age of 4 or 5.  I guess I have to learn to be more like my Bunny.  To follow her example of just letting it go.  She hasn't let this incident slow her down.  I'm not even sure she remembers it.  Maybe I'll forget some day soon too, and focus again on the happiness  and joy in her life, instead of hurting for her.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Hullabaloo!

We had a great Halloween this year.  This was the first year that Bug was old enough to really get what Halloween was all about.  And I was a proud mama of both of my smalls for their "Trick or Treats" followed by "Thank You"s.  I love it when they show off their good manners, and they got lots of praise and positive reinforcement!  Love these proud mama moments.

The town we live in hosts a really great Halloween for kids.  All the businesses in our "old town" pass out candy so the kids can all trick or treat in a well lit, well populated area.  As a parent, this really just makes me feel so much better about the whole trick or treat thing. Seriously, the idea of my kids going house to house in my neighborhood kinda freaks me out.  Not that they aren't bad people.  Well, maybe because I have no idea what sort of people they are really.  People these days don't really know their neighbors I think.  Or maybe it's just our neighborhood because it's partially multi-family housing rental units.  Hard to get to know people when they're gone 6 months to a year later.  Still, I know when I was a kid, it wouldn't have mattered where I trick or treated.  Renters, owners, whatever.  But now?  Well, times have changed baby.  Halloween may not be what it used to be, but at least our kids can still experience the best parts of it without giving worrisome Mom's like me a heart attack.  Right?

I did of course, whip out the camera and get photos before the fun began, much to Bug and Bunny's unhappiness.

Here's Bunny.  Can you see how excited she is to pose for the camera?  She loves it.  No really, she does!  Okay, she doesn't.  But I'm the mom, and until she hits those terrible teen years, I can still force her to stand in front of the camera, even if she doesn't smile.

She was Dorothy this year.  But wait!  You've seen this outfit before?  Yep, times are tight.  There was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to have her re-wear this great costume.  She still looks just as cute don't you think?  Thank you Nanny for providing us with this costume!!

She doesn't look too broken up about it does she?  We're off to see the wizard!

Bug was a knight.  A FIGHTING knight.  Very important that we include the fighting part.  He insisted.  I really love this shot.  It was pure accident, but something about the composition really draws me in.  I think it would have neared perfection if I'd gotten a bit more of his sword in.  Ahh, well.  I still love it.  And couldn't you just melt into those big brown eyes?  Watch out girls!  This one is going to be a heart breaker!

"You talking 'bout me?"
Well, as soon as he realizes girls are like-able that is.  For now his first love is Race Cars, quickly followed by Dinosaurs.  I'm good with that!  (Thank you Nanny for the helmet and shield, and for the original sword that he broke and we had to replace!!!)

And here are my two little Tweedles together.  Yes Bug, I'm still talking about you!  Doesn't Bunny look like she's getting ready to walk down the isle with that bouquet of clover? 

We even had LW show up for part of the fun.  She's in her military get-up. No she hasn't joined up.  But wouldn't she make the perfect poster girl?

Of course, put her with the Tweedles and she's hard pressed not to laugh at those yahoos.  And really, who could blame her?

Of course, maybe it was the crazy pirate lady with the camera that was breaking her concentration.  So hard to tell.

Where's GG you ask?  Yeah, we have no idea.  We dropped her off Friday night at a friend's house and hopefully she managed to find her way home last night (hey, I go to bed early and leave early on Mondays, give me a break!).  This is the first Halloween she's had real plans (she's a junior in high school folks - she's a late bloomer), so I just hope she had a good time with her friends.  If anyone got a pic of her, I'll try to post it later.  Her costume was awesome!

Hope you all had a safe and happy Halloween! 

Seriously.. Thoughts?