One Trick Pony

I might not have many CS3 skills, 
but I've mastered the photoshop collage.

Well, sort of.

The border on this one uploaded kind of screwy.
Not sure what I did wrong.
It's a great triptych of Elena and one of her many frog friends.

And this one of my cousin's daughter Helen.
Commissioned today.
The border doesn't show up right on this one either.


Back to the drawing board I go.




Photoshop scares me.

But if I want to be a serious photographer
I have to learn how to use it.

At least a little.

So yesterday I played around with two images.
They go together, but are not the same. 
This, I learned, is called Diptych.

Here is my attempt.

Complete with my very own signature.

I'm big time, now, folks.


(P.S. I used PW 's "Sunshine" action on these photos at 27% opacity.  For those of you who understand CS3, you'll know what that means. )


Lone Star State (of Mind)

On Wednesday I went in to my office at Empi,  turned on my computer, logged in, and internally applied for a new job.

In Texas.

Austin to be precise.

It's a Territory Manager position.  The job I've tried twice to get in the Twin Cities.  Without success.  On the inside, in my current position, the area of the country I work with is Texas.  So I actually know that business better than I do locally. So the promotion is almost perfect.

Except that it's in Texas.

Austin to be precise.

1000 miles south on Interstate 35.
Give or take.

One thousand miles.
From my parents.
Darrell's family.
All of our friends.

(Though, it IS closer to Tiff and Abby in Mexico)

Our house is going live on the market on Wednesday.
March 3rd.
Noel's 30th birthday.

There are a lot of changes happening to the family pelton.  I'm not sure I can make sense of them all yet.
And, dear friends, I'm scared.
The thought of moving my family from everything we know.
Starting over in a new town. A new state. A new home.

In some ways I'm excited.
I think it sounds like an amazing adventure.

DRL, the girls and I
in the Lone Star State.

I'd have the job I have been working toward for three years.
DRL could skate all year-round.
We'd only need snowsuits when we came home to visit...
(which would be often!)

And we could see SXSW (South by Southwest) every year.


If we stay here:
I still love my current job.
All our family and friends are here.
I can work on getting better at photography and really start to branch out with it.
I'll continue going to St Kate's to earn my undergrad.
We'll have access to babysitters so DRL and I can have some semblance of life as husband and wife instead of just as Mama and Daddy.

Oh, internets.

I'm on the horns of a dilemma.
And it's a big ass bull....



Natural Light

I may have mentioned that we are in the process of remodeling our main bathroom and re-carpeting our downstairs family room.

The projects are all but done. 
Minor details are left for them to be fully completed.
Yesterday afternoon we moved the futon back downstairs and I opened the curtains.
And I noticed that there is the most amazing natural light filling the room.

So I ran upstairs and grabbed the baby, a quilt made by the fabulous Lindsay Brown, and my camera.
I set to Aperture priority, opened it up, and just started shooting.

Nikon D90
Focal Length: 85mm
Aperture: 5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/50
ISO: 800

This is straight out of camera.
I could soften it a bit.
Make the skin a bit more even and make Stella's baby blues really pop.
But I wanted to show you how insane the light is in that room.
I'm sad that I have only now discovered it.
Had I known, hardwood would have gone in instead of carpet, and I'd be calling it my studio.

Nikon D90
Focal Length: 28mm
Aperture: 5.0
Shutter Speed: 1/25
ISO: 400

Nikon D90
Focal Length: 50mm
Aperture: 5.0
Shutter Speed: 1/20
ISO: 400

My silly girl.
Also a fan of the bright, warm, newly carpeted open room.
She stayed down there almost all afternoon. 
Playing with Pinky (the elephant) and her pig. 
And three balloons.




This is what my refrigerator looks like right. this. second.



Yogurt. Pasta. Cheese.

Five pounds of butter.
Beurre, en francais.
Thank you, Ree .  I'm addicted.
I was doing soooo good for soooo long.
And now I, too, Jiggle.

It is so worth it.
(remind me that I said that, will you? something tells me I'll need it one of these days...)

More fruit.
To counteract all of that butter.

And behind them,
more pickles.

No. I'm not pregnant. 

I promise to take a photo of this refrigerator one week from now.  
It will look remarkably different.
The butter will be gone.
The fruit will be brown.
Don't hate.
It's how the west was won.
Or something...

Jiggles forever,


A Rose by Any Other Name...

Let's pretend I was going to listen to those of you who have recommended that I branch out and start up a photography business.

Or at the very least that I attempt to market myself as a photographer.

I would have to have a name for myself.
For the version of me that is a "professional photographer."
Something to put in the yellow pages.
(Do people even use the yellow pages anymore?)

Which name would I choose?
Something creative?
Something simple?
A little of both?
A name that combines my knitting and photography in one?

Maybe I should leave it to you.
Afterall, you're the ones who've recommended I do this in the first place.

Here is what I've come up with so far:

Stella Studios
A.Pelton Portraiture
Purple Iris Portrait Design
White Orchid Photography
Athena Pelton Photography
Type A Pictures

 Use the comment section to vote for your favorite or suggest your own.

Please and thank you.


Oh, and guess what else?
This bee-yotch can grout.


Wednesday Wisdom

*We are in the process of completely remodeling our main bathroom.  This is it before we tore anything out:
*Blech. Yuck. Ga-roooooo-essssss!

*Suuuuuuper ugly. Blueish purple linoleum.  Ragged, worn down short little vanity with an ugly counter and an old toilet.

*This is what it looks like as of this morning:

*A fresh coat of paint, and nice, tuscan feeling ceramic tile. (Laid by yours truly, thankyouverymuch!)

*We are also painting and re-carpeting the downstairs family room.  I don't have pictures to show of that nightmare.  I'll upload the after shot on Monday when the carpet is finally installed.

*My nephew Logan turned 3 on Saturday. Here he is (on the left) with his best buddy and two week younger cousin Roan (right).

*And his darling sister Mackenzie. My only niece:

*I barely have time to knit with all the home improvement going on. But I did manage to finish a couple kid hats for my cousins.  A hat for a little boy for my cousin Nick, and this one that Stella is modeling for my cousin April's friend.

*I think she looks tired, don't you?

*Yesterday was Fat Tuesday, which means today is the first day of Lent.  I am not catholic, but I did consider giving something up this year.
The following is my list of possibilities:
Crying babies
Home improvement
Not exercising
Yelling at stupid drivers
Sassy toddlers

*Then I realized that a) I am not catholic, so I am not obligated to give anything up for Lent. b) I really like chocolate. And 3) I can't give up my two kids for 40 days.  So I'm pretty much stuck with the crying baby and sassy toddler.

*I suppose it's just as well.  I do love them....

*Luc' s baby boy was born on Valentine's day.  I can't wait to see him in his beanie.  He's precious. And perfect. And the second I heard he was born my heart leapt. (And, okay, it skipped a beat, too. I was effin' excited!)

*I'm still as chubbly as I was a month ago.


*I ate not once teensy eensy little piece of chocolate on valentines day.  Lord forgive me, for I have sinned. I know not what I do....

*I'm sorry I haven't blogged in over a week.  I've been slightly pre-occupied.  Some interesting things may be happening....

That's the news for now.



The Cooper Beanie

I have had an idea for this hat for Luc's new baby, lovingly referred to by her as "the bean," since I learned of his existence.

I wanted a way to honor his brother, Cooper, while creating something new.

Something made especially with the bean in mind.

And so the "Cooper Beanie" was born.

I shipped it off to Lucinda last week.
I am happy to report that she loved it.

I am still waiting for news of the bean's arrival.
I can't wait to see him in it.

I am so happy that knitting has given me an outlet to be creative, to design, and to make special things for others.

I am thankful for it.

There truly is nothing better than receiving a hand-made gift.

Except maybe diamonds.
And camera lenses.

And 5 year aged cheddar.

And Lindor Truffles.

But that's it.



Winter Warm-Up

This is what my front yard looks like right now.

This makes me feel cold.

I want hot chocolate.

And fuzzy slippers and a nice, cheesy 80's movie.
Preferably one featuring Molly Ringwald.

I have a 2.3 year old and a newborn, so I can't have scalding hot drinks and a quiet room in which to watch a film.

Instead, I have to find creative ways to "feel" warm.



There we go.

Nice and toasty.



Wednesday Wisdom

*I tried to Gaga. I can't do it. At least not yet.  And while we're on the subject....Why is it that Lady Gaga can dress as a solar system at the Grammy's and be praised, yet when Bjork wore the swan dress, she was on every worst dressed list and completely bashed by every fashion critic? Seems a little hypocritical to me.

*I heart Bjork. You should, too. Especially the album "Post."  It's my favorite.

*Stella is six weeks old today.  Her eyes are still blue.  Elena's were brown 3.27 seconds after birth.

*I only have six weeks left of maternity leave. It's as if Punxsutawney Phil not only predicted when winter would end, but when my freedom from alarm clocks would cease, as well.

*I made the mistake of measuring my waist, hips and thighs. In inches. With a measuring tape.  Things are far worse than I thought.

*I know it took me nine months to put it on...so it might take me nine months to take it off and yadda yadda  yadda. But if it were up to me, human gestation would take a weekend. Maybe a whole week.  Alright fine,  maybe a couple.  So I'd really like the weight to come off quickly, too.

*Honestly, sometimes I really miss smoking. I don't miss being a smoker, per se, but I miss a cigarette occasionally.

*I am really happy that I am a non-smoker.  Like really, really, really, insanely happy.

*My new camera is beyond-words amazing. I love it. I'm going to marry it.  Well, if polygamy were legal in Minnesota, I would marry it.  The wedding would be the event of the year....

*I will never own a mini-van.

*I still want another tattoo. Even though I used my tattoo money to buy my marriage-worthy SLR.  Anyone need a photographer?? I'm cheap.  Er...sorry...What I meant was, I'm inexpensive!

*The sight of snow covered trees when you wake up in the morning is one of my favorite things.  It is so quietly beautiful.  Often unexpected.  It's like peace is right outside the window.  And cold.  Bitter, bitter cold.

*Elena brought her first art project home from the YMCmeA today. It's a tissue paper "stained glass" heart, and it is hanging on the fridge.  Now I know why my mom kept boxes and boxes of Noel's (my brother) and my stuff.  There is just something so precious and sentimental about it...

*The "bean"ie that I designed for Lucinda's little one is finished. I have to pack it up and ship it to New York tomorrow.  I hope Luc loves it.  I'm sure she will.  I have photos, but so as to not give away the surprise, I won't post them until after she receives her gift.

That's the news for now.



Flaking It

This hat took me 6 attempts to complete.  
Ok fine.

Nine if you count the snowflake hat I made for my brother last year as an attempt.
I didn't carry the yarn well.
It didn't even stretch enough to fit Elena's head.
For you fellow knitters...you know that's bad.
90 stitches on size 8's and the hat didn't fit a one year old.

After that failure, I gave up on fair isle.
Until I heard Lucinda  was pregnant.
Then I just knew I had to learn. Had to master the art of it.

After 6 failed attempts (ok ok! Eight) I enlisted the internets for help.
I typed "Fair Isle" into You Tube's search box and watched two videos.
I read a page in Stitch and Bitch.
Then I tried again.
Because I had to.

I am a hat maker, see.
I love to make hats for babies.
If I know you and I know you're having a baby, you will get a hat from me.
It's what I do.

But Luc's hat had to be special.

A plain ol cap just wouldn't do.
Not for her.
Not for the bean.
Not for Cooper's little brother.

So I set off designing a hat for her new little one.
This is not that hat.
But it had to be completed for me to feel confident enough to put into stitches the pattern I have written for the bean.

I started on it tonight. 
I'm skipping the gym to work on it.
He could come any day now so time....
as they say...
is of the essence.