Lately I've been feeling a little

I havent' really photographed much in a couple weeks.
I haven't crafted much of anything.
And my blogs have been
a little

I feel I'm Jackson Browne. 

That I'm running on empty.
(Runnin' on.....runnin'bliiiiiiiind. Runnin' into the sun but I'm runnin' behind...)

I might take a brief hiatus.
I'm not saying I won't post anymore,
just maybe not as often. 

I fear I've run out of interesting things to say.

But I'm open to suggestion.....



White Balance

After much urging from my friend Rebecca
I finally decided to pick up an expodisc.

I haven't been taking many photos of the girls lately.  
In large part because by the time we finally get home for the evening, it's dark out.
And I don't have a good flash. 

An expodisc allows me to set a custom white balance for my camera
based on the exact shooting/lighting conditions I am in.

Both of these photos were shot at the exact same aperture, ISO, and shutter speed.
Neither of them have been edited in any way.  The only difference is the white balance.

    auto white balance                                                                         custom white balance using expodisc
Ta Da!
Now I can take lowlight photos and not spend time in Photoshop
editing out the orange-yellow tones.

Thanks for the tip, Rebecca.
And Happy Birthday.
(Elena is singing it right now, in fact.)



P52: The View From Here

This weeks' theme for my Project 52
is "The View From Here."

I figured,
It wouldn't make sense for me to not take photos of my crafting.
There's always yarn stashed somewhere in the living room.

Quilt sqaures.
Pieces of thread.


My crafts are strewn about constantly.

That's my view.

I think it's a good one...



Work. In Progress.

Some things are easy.  Most are not.

I had a mental breakdown yesterday.  It involved tears. Pouting.  HandsUpInTheAirWhereDoIGoFromHere-ing. And some solid recognition.  I came to accept that if I want to become a full time photographer doing so is going to take a lot longer than I would like. Or, at least I'm trying to accept that.  It's a work in progress , really.  Like not eating the entire pint of ice cream in one sitting.

Right now, in this life, this moment, I don't have time to market myself.  I can't spend hours toiling over a design for business cards and although I bought my domain name, I don't know the first thing about a photography website.  I don't have the capacity to organize creative photo shoots and network with others in the wedding industry who work with the kind of client that fits my style of portraiture.  If I did have the serendipity to run into someone needing a photographer, I don't have business cards to hand out.  Or a website to direct potential clients to.

I don't have the time/money to attend workshops.  To learn.  Grow.  Explore my ability.

I don't have the money to buy the lenses I need.  The lighting accessories.  The computer.

But I want to. I wish I could.  More than anything.

So very badly.

My whole life I've dreamed of being an artist.  (Okay, okay, and a ballerina.  And a doctor.  And a teacher.  The other three didn't pan out.) But I never planned on becoming a photographer.  I fought against it for a while, actually.  When people would compliment my photos, I gave 110% of the credit to my Nikon.  It's still hard for me not to.  I'm sure part of it stems from my insecurities.  The feeling that by being so self-deprecating, it'll take the sting out of any other criticism that may come my way.

I am so inspired by the people who are living their dreams.  Who took the plunge.  No holds barred.  Jumped.  Anda.  Jasmine.  My newest stalkee Gladys.  I watch them, every day, as they continue to create amazing things, and I get jealous.  Insanely jealous.  Green-in-the-face-steam-coming-out-of-my-ears-lock-Cinderella-in-the-attic jealous.  In the most complimentary and friendly fashion, of course.  

I want to have the freedom to create art, every day.  To live my story.  To be my story.

The real truth I came to last night, as I sat in a teary wet heap on my kitchen floor, is that this is my story.  Every word of it.  Each and every step I take towards the achievement of my dream is worth taking.  No matter how small.  Even if I am sitting still, at least I am not moving backwards.

This will have to be my new mantra.  As I watch, from the sidelines, as these three amazing women take the 2011 wedding season by storm.  I'll practice whenever I can.  I'll still try and snag some new clients along the way.  And when 2012 gets here, and brings with it the end of the world, I will be ready to dive full force into my very own, my very first, official wedding season.  I hope 2011 brings me many more opportunities to practice.  To hone.  To grow.

And if you know someone who could use a photographer, please, in the name of all that is holy (and for the sake of keeping me off the kitchen floor) send them my direction.


PS:  I managed to build a photography blog.  You can find it here.  Bookmark it if you'd like.  Share it with friends.  It'd mean the world to me.


Wednesday Wisdom

It's Wednesday.
And this is what I know for sure.

Elena is the best hat model.
Even when she's pouty.
Or non-cooperative.

Stella's eyes are the most beautiful shade of blue.

She's the "Blue" sheep of this family.
She has my grandpa's eyes, I think.
When she was an infant,
we would call her "Little Leonard"
because she looked just like him.

I still desperately want to cut my hair short.
Really short.
Michelle Williams short.
Lucinda cut hers yesterday.
Emma Watson short.
I am soooo jealous.

It looks amazing on her.

I am debating whether I want to upgrade my camera
(from a D90 to a D700)
or just spend the money on lenses.

I know I'll need both eventually,
and I'm torn with what to invest in FIRST.

My gut says camera body.
Lenses are easy to rent.

But I've gotten some feedback that recommends
I upgrade the lenses first.

I don't know what to do....

I went to Sephora today.
I bought grown up
big girl

And the girl who helped me
was amazing.
With a perfect smile.


Stella has another ear infection.
I've gotten a cumulative total of 7.8 hours of sleep
in the last two nights.

I'm hoping the antibiotics kick in.
And sooooon.

I'm still amazed by what is happening in Wisconsin.
How people are standing up
for what they believe in.
With one voice.

I'm proud to be a 'Sconnie girl.

And now,
more than ever,
I wish I was a teacher.

We need more good ones.
But we especially need more great ones.
With loud, powerful voices.

Oh, and I hear they make over 100k/year.....



The Debate Rages On

Texas State Capitol: Photo Courtesy of DRL and his iPhone 3GS.

I'm from Wisconsin.
Wasn't born there,
but I grew up there.
Went to grade school there.
Graduated high school there.

There's a lot happening right now
in my home state.

A local pizza company shut down
regular delivery business
due to the large demand of orders
pouring in
from people all over the world
wanting to send food
to the protestors.

Pretty cool...
when you stop think about it.

I will keep my politics to myself,
but I will say that I am happy
that people who feel their government is doing them a disservice
an injustice
are standing up against it.

Are making sure their voices are heard.

Teaching us all
that we DO matter.
That we can affect change.

These hard working union and state employees
and those who want to stand alongside them
in support
and unison,
are being
the change
they wish to see in the world.

If only we could all be so brave...



Speaking of "Reading..."

This is Elena.
Stella's favorite book.

It's called "Yucchy Yucchy"
and it's centered around Oscar the Grouch
and his love
of all things

She even tries to do the muppet voices.




Ouvrir le Livre

Listen to the MUSTN'TS child,
Listen to the DON'TS
Listen to the SHOULDN'TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me --  
Anything can happen child,
ANYTHING can be.
Draw a crazy picture,
Write a nutty poem,
Sing a mumble-gumble song,
Whistle through your comb.
Do a loony-goony dance
'Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain't been there before.

If you don't own these books,
you should

(these things are fun,
and fun is good....)



Wednesday Wisdom

I was in dance lessons on and off
since the tender age of 3.

And eventually, ballet.

When I was 14, my dad built me my very own studio
in our basement.
A friend who was taking pointe,
showed me how to do a few basic moves.

I would spend hours in the basement,
listening to classical music,
stretching at my barre,
and attempting to

When I was 20 I took up ballet
at the Minnesota Dance Theater
in downtown

After a few months of twice a week classes
I officially graudated from Capezio leather ballet slippers
to Bloch pointe shoes.

I thought I was soooo cool. 
Then my toes started hurting.
And I started practically starving myself.

It wasn't long before I decided
it just wasn't worth it.

When people ask,
I'll tell them I used to dance.
Ballet, I'll say.

My feet can handle anything now,
I joke.

I read a quote from a friend
on facebook,
"You are infinitely more valuable being exactly who you are
than you'll ever be trying to be something you're not."

I happened into a PT clinic yesterday,
and the person I was supposed to meet
was off site doing Physical Therapy
for Ballet Austin.

I said to the woman who was helping me in his stead,
"Oh how fun! I used to dance."
She then went on to talk about another clinician who
spent a few years
as a professional dancer.

To which I replied,
"Oh, I was never any good. I just pretended."

She smiled wide and laughed
a big, boisterous, hearty laugh.

As did I.
This might not seem like much
but to me, it's a big deal.

I've stepped out of the dream
of ever becoming a phenomenal
dance ingenue. 

And I am
perfectly okay with that. 



Hat Envy

This is Anda.

I started blog stalking her earlier this year.
I adore her style.

She's a fellow 'Sconnie Girl
who came to Austin in November
to shoot a wedding.

We met up for a three hour cup of coffee
some camera pointers
and a lot of laughs.

I am honored to call her a friend.
And hope she knows that she's also
a mentor.
A source of constant inspiration.

As a token of my appreciation,
I sent her a gorgeous grey
cabled hat
that I was soooooo ready to keep
all to my greedy little self.
But just look at her in this hat
through the lens of yet another
phenomenal Wisconsin talent
Nikki of Nikki-N Photography.

(Thank you, so much, for graciously allowing me to use these amazing images)

I saw these photos
and missed that hat.
A lot.

And I had this skein of yarn
just sitting around
to be turned into something
It's not the same yarn I used for Anda's hat
if you remember,
I never make the exact same hat

But I used it to make a cabled hat.
Just for me.
I don't have a Nikki
Or an Anda
nearby to take gorgeous photos
of me wearing it.

So the mannequin head photos will have to suffice.

thank you.
For all the little ways you inspire.

Stay fabulous.
every single amazing one of you.






falling water

There are many things
I desire
when it comes to photography equipment.

An expodisk.
A remote shutter release.
A D700.
A 50mm 1.2 lens
(I'm still waiting for Nikon to actually make one)
An 85mm 1.4
A 60mm Macro lens.

a Macro lens.
So I can take close up photos
of plants

I mean
close up.

Then I read this tutorial
over at MCP Actions
(host of my Project 52).

I thought I'd give it a try
(Sans tripod and speedlight).

I used my 50mm 1.4
set it at f4
with a shutter speed of 1/60.

These are my results:

I'm not over the moon
about these photos.

But I think they're good
for a first try.

Learning is fun.



Wednesday Wisdom

"Don't say you don't have enough time.
You have exactly the same number of hours per day
that were given
to Helen Keller,
Louis Pasteur,
Mother Teresa,
Leonardo da Vinci,
Thomas Jefferson,
and Albert Einstein."
                            ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

If you don't have a dream,
how can you have a dream come true?

The best day of your life
is the day
in which you decide
your life
your own.

"The tragedy of life does not lie
in not reaching your goals,
the tragedy lies
in not having any goals
to reach."
                ~Dr. Benjamin Mays

Surround yourself with people who believe you can.

The sum total of a lot of little efforts
isn't little.

"To be nobody but yourself
in a world which is doing its best
day and night
to make you like everybody else
means to fight
the hardest battle
which any human being can fight
but never stop fighting!"
                                    ~e.e. cummings

Trust your crazy ideas.

If you can read this
thank a teacher.
(And then speak up (LOUDLY) to help them keep their jobs.
Their schools.
Their funding.)

Live your life on purpose.

With your eyes


(most of the words in this post were taken graciously from a book I happened upon in a cute little boutique.  The book is called "Where Will You Be Five Years From Today" and can be found here: www.live-inspired.com.)


Macaroni Love Story

On Sunday morning
I decided to sew a little.

I've had this fabric sitting around since the fall.
In a basket.
In the living room.
Waiting for my indecisive brain
to finally decide what to do with it.

Then I saw what Film in the Fridge
did with her stash
of this now extinct
Heather Ross fabric.

I liked it.

So I thought it was just the right project to start
and finish
on Superbowl Sunday.

It measures 72x72.
I have enough fabric left over to make another quilt.
A much smaller quilt.

Or enough
to make a very interesting back.

Maybe I'll piece the back.
Maybe I'll buy a sheet and have the back plain.
I'm on the fence....

...and open to suggestion.



Any Given Sunday

On any given Sunday
(from September thru January)
one can turn on the television
and watch some football.

But this Sunday
is special.
Oh so special.

My team
is playing in the big game.

I remember watching them in the Superbowl when I was a kid.
I had a hypercolor t-shirt
that was green.
If you blew on it,
it turned gold.

No one watched the commercials.
That was the only time you took your eyes off the tv
to get a refill
some food
go to the bathroom.

If you turned your head,
Favre might throw an interception.

we don't have Favre.
But Aaron Rodgers is dynamite.
And he's going to take his team

Don't believe me?
Just ask Stella.
She'll tell you.



Snow Day



Little Differences

In Minnesconsin,
when the mercury drops
below 32 degrees
we call it

wait a minute.
Let's be serious...

We call it

We wear coats.

if you're one of the lucky few,
you also put on a gorgeous
squishy hat
made by the fabulous
knitting goddess that is me.

In Austin,
When it gets below freezing,
the city goes into "Event Mode."

People stock up on groceries.
Fire wood.
Space heaters.
The city has rolling blackouts
to preserve electricity.

There's mention of snow.
Two inches of snow.
In Minnesconsin
land of the six month winter
two measly puny
inches of snow
doesn't even cause a 2 hour school delay.

In Texas,
the city is prepared
for a total
shut down.

Good thing I have my hat.
My laptop.
A couple bottles of wine.
And a few extra pounds
to keep me warm.

The fountain featured in today's post
wasn't as lucky.

The neighbor kids sure thought it was neat.

Here's to hoping that those kids
get to see some snow tomorrow.

Because if you never did you should.
These things are fun and
fun is good.
                   ~Dr. Seuss



Minute to Win It

Have you seen it?
The show where contestants
are asked to perform
silly challenges
using everyday

In one challenge, 
the contestant must pull 100 kleenex
from the box
in 60 seconds.

For some,
it's a chance to win a large sum of money...


It's what happens 
when I turn my back
for 7.2 seconds:

Can I have my 1000 dollars now, please?

Pretty please?

I'll throw in that ridiculously cute baby.....



Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

How does your garden grow?
Enough about flowers
Winter brings cold snow showers
So I knit you a hat, dontchya know!

I suck at poetry.
But I'm a darn good knitter.
An impeccable flower maker.
I didn't worry that I would want to keep
the hat I was making for Mary.
Sooooo not my color.

Then I put it on.
And I am
with this hat.

I would marry it.

If I weren't already married.
And if partnership with inanimate objects was legal.
Which it's not.
Turns out hats aren't the only ones
who are not allowed
to wed....

But I digress.

If it didn't itch my head,
This hat:
It would be mine.

Forever and ever.