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Sunday, February 15, 2015

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 6

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 6

I don't have a really good explanation for neglecting the blog for over a month. I guess it was just a combination of procrastination and laziness. My plan to post the weekly photo and sketch together hasn't been serving me well either. I've actually been doing a fairly good job of keeping up with my weekly photo project, but I just haven't been posting it here because I'm always behind on my sketchbook. I'm still a week behind, but I figure if I don't do something now, I'll be too overwhelmed to ever get caught up. I've back filled all of the prior weeks up until this point, so hopefully my habits will improve going forward.

Since Valentine's Day was this week, naturally the theme was love. I spent Valentine's Day taking humiliating photos of the dogs and baking a heart shaped cake with Lauren while Mark replaced our water heater.

Sketchbook Journal 2015 - Week 7

This is my favorite sketch so far this year. Who doesn't love conversation hearts?

Monday, February 2, 2015

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 5

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 5

This week's topic was shadows. Like silhouette, it's own of those overtly "photography" topics that I don't like. The way the light was hitting these yo-yo pillows caught my eye, so I went with it, even though I've photographed that chair countless times.

Sketchbook Journal 2015 - Week 6

For my journal, I decided to sketch the best part of this year's Superbowl - Kary Perry's sharks!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 4

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 4

This weeks topic was low light, so I just took a photo of the scene I see before I turn in for the night.

Sketchbook Journal 2015 - Week 5

I sketched a little snow scene since this was the first week that we significant amount of snow (If you call about six inches significant.).

Saturday, January 24, 2015

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 3

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 3

This week's theme was yellow. When it comes to choosing colors, yellow is practically never my first choice, so it was a bit of a challenge. But I do like washi tape, and since I have a lot of it, I decided to put it to good use. I ended up framing my little impromptu artwork, and I put it on display in our spare bedroom which, in spite of my feelings towards the color, is accented with a yellow throw rug and cabinet.

Sketchbook Journal 2015 - Week 4

Last week, Lauren had her first band concert, and literally right before we departed the house, she dropped a bomb and announced that she wanted to switch from the trombone to the clarinet. Since we're just happy that she's interested in playing a instrument, we got her teacher's blessing and rented her a clarinet. So far she's doing really well with it, and she's taught herself most of the songs that she needs to get caught up. My only regret is that I never got a photo of her with the trombone before we returned it to the music store. Oh well.

I drew the books because Lauren has been reading like a FIEND. She typically goes through two 300+ page books in a week. Her school has a program to motivate the kids to read where if they read 25 books during the school year, they get to go to a special party. Well, as of this week she's up to 34. Also, as part of her GATE class, the students are asked to read 1 million words. She's currently over 2 million and is shooting for 3 million before the end of the year. At the rate she's going, I have no doubt that she'll easily meet that goal!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 2

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 2

This week's topic was lines. I found these heart shaped glasses at the Target's dollar spot. In hindsight, I wish I would have also bought the robot glasses that they had. Marcus would have looked awesome modelling them.

Sketchbook Journal 2015 - Week 3

I chose to sketch some deer because sometimes I like to drive through our local park my way home from work, and seeing the deer grazing in the golf course always makes me happy. I think the standing deer looks weird, but I think I did a decent job on the sitting one.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 1

 For 52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 1

I decided to start the 2015 52 weeks project this week because I've joined a new project 52 group called Nifty Fifty 52, and their first topic didn't start until January 4th. This group posted all of the topics for the year, and there are very few, if any, stinkers. Also, the photo has to be taken with a 50mm prime lens, and since I shoot 90% of my photos with that kind of lens, I should be able to follow along without issue.

This week's topic was "new", so I went with a photo of the new cardigan sweater that I received from Mark for Christmas. I liked it so much, that I now own the sweater in practically every other color too.

 Sketchbook Journal 2015 - Week 1

True to my word, I've been diligently working on my 2015 sketchbook journal. I decided to try a different style of journal this year. It's a Handbook Journal made by Global Art Materials. This one has enough pages to cover the entire year. Also, it's bound in the middle like a book instead of like a notebook with spiral wire. I was a little skeptical about it at first, but now I love it. It will really encourage me to do this year after year because they'll look so nice sitting on the shelf next to each other.

I thought it would help me keep up if I posted my sketch for the week along with the photo of the week. The only problem was that the project 52 group started the week after I started my journal. So I decided just to post both for this week. This one is based on a photo that I did for Stocksy a couple of months ago. Sometimes when I get stuck for an idea, I just draw one of my photos.

SKetchbook Journal 2015 - Week 2

Here's this week. I went with a snowman because it's been so incredibly cold. Lauren's school had a 2 hour delay three days this week because with the windchill the temperatures were way below zero. I should also probably mention that I can't really draw organically, so once I have an idea, I typically search for some clip art online and then add my own spin on it.

On a personal note, I don't know what it is about the first full week of January, but once again, this week was so, so very crappy for me. It was the same last year too. The year got better as time went on, so I can only hope the same will be true of 2015.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye, 2014

My desk at the end of the year.

My third entry of the day and the last for the year. I wanted to write a little bit about the year because it was such a great one. I'm always a little apprehensive about starting a new year and all the unknown that it brings with it, but I'm particularly sad to see this year end. So many exciting things happened:  Lauren got into the GATE program, started playing trombone and had her room re-decorated. Mark's garden was featured in the annual garden club tour, and he got a new car.  I was appointed an officer at my company and was accepted as a contributing photographer at Stocksy. My dad retired. We got see dolphins swim in the Atlantic Ocean and visit with our awesome cousins in Michigan. And that's just off the top of my head!

I don't know if I have any resolutions this year, but I do have a few goals in mind. The picture above is what my desk looked like this morning. You can see I'm still working on this year's sketchbook journal. I got so very far behind, but I'm determined to finish it. Next to it, is my new journal for 2015. I am committed to keeping up with it this year. So I when I saw this scene, I thought it pretty much encapsulated how I feel today. Not quite ready to close the old book, but still looking forward to filling up all those blank pages in the new one. Happy New Year!

Christmas 2014

 Coco guarding the gifts.

Here I am once again on New Year's Eve writing about our Christmas. It's practically become a tradition!

Since Mark's extended family were celebrating elsewhere this year, we had just a small gathering at my in-law's house. I didn't take a whole lot of photos, but here are a few of my nephews Noah and Jacob acting cute.



 Jacob with his mom and dad.

 Noah and grandma.

Lauren thinking those are her gifts too.

When Lauren woke up Christmas morning, she thought all these presents were hers too. She was disappointed to learn truth: Mommy and daddy also give each other gifts. Somehow, she has overlooked this fact during her last nine Christmases.

 Lauren on Christmas morn.

Of course that disappointment was fleeting once she started opening her own gifts (Pj's courtesy of cousins Nick and Noreen).

Lauren got a tablet case. But where's the tablet.

Look at that happy face! Why is she so excited?

Lauren looking at her tablet case.

Because she got a tablet case. But she doesn't have a tablet. Yet.

 Lauren looking for her tablet.

Where could it be...

 Lauren opening her iPad Mini.

Found it!

 Lauren and her iPad mini.

It was actually the last gift that she opened. We took a page out of A Christmas Story and hid it towards the back of the tree like a BB gun.

Laurne showing Coco her gift.

Kitty Coco finally gets rewarded for guarding the presents all night.

Some guy.

As usual, there was lots of present opening on Christmas night. This guy was peeking out of a gift bag for Mark. I thought he was a long lost relative or something.

Mark opening presents.

Here's Mark digging in.

Mark and his chamois.

To summarize, Mark got lots of nuts and car wash supplies.

Lauren choosing a chamois.

Lauren got really excited when Pappy told her she pick out a chamois to clean her iPad mini screen.

Me and my mixer.

I got an ice blue hand mixer - YAY!

Aunt Phyllis and her iced tea maker.

Aunt Phyllis was my latest victim in the great Takeya iced tea maker giveaway. It's a really awesome product!

Mel C and her "UGG boots."

Here's Mel C with her UGG boots, or so she thinks. Many of the ladies at work, including myself, wear them, and she's made it clear to me how much she loathes them. I've been leading her to think that I was going to get her a pair for Christmas.

But of course, I would not do that to my BFF.

Mel C and her special post-its

Inside, she got a nice soft throw blanket, a nail polish set, a card game and some really lewd sticky notes that she's holding up here.

 Craig opening his gift.

Speaking of lewd, it was time for Uncle Craig's gift. But first, we have to reenact a scene from the Godfather.

 The godfather.

 Pap pap's ring.

This is my Pap Pap's ring. There's a whole story about how it was likely stolen (Not by my grandfather, but by the guy that sold it to him.), but we won't get into that. We had a good time teasing Mark about how he was going to inherit it and be the next Don of the family.

 Hollywood Nudes in 3D.

Do we know how to honor our Godfather, or what?

Uncle Craig enjoying his gift.

Yes, they really are IN 3D!!!! It is unfortunate that you have to look like Where's Waldo while enjoying the nudes.

Lauren checking out the 3D action.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree in this family, does it? I mean, what kid can resist the magic of 3D?

 Grandma and her pj's

Moving on back to the PG part of the story, here's Grandma hiding behind her new pjs

 Mom's corno

But she was really excited to get a corno charm for her Pandora bracelet.

Lauren and Pappy.

And lastly, here's Pappy opening his two tablets - a custom one with pages printed with Kitty Roxy's photos and a Kindle Fire.

I think that finally wraps it up! Back in September, I was thinking about how Christmas was just around the corner and questioning if I had the energy to do it all again. Nonetheless, I had nothing to worry about because a wonderful Christmas came together in the end.

52 Weeks of 2014 - Week 52

52 Weeks of 2014 - Week 52

Oddly, Christmas week (last week) was week 52 and the conclusion of this year's project. So we end with a photo of the front door to my house decked for Christmas. I've shared photos of our wreath before, but this year Mark added pine cones!


Coming soon -  Week 1 of 2015!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

25 Days of Christmas - Day 25

25 Days of Christmas - Day 25

Exhausted from a wonderful Christmas, so this one will have to do. In the coming days, I'll post more photos of the festivities. I have to say that I'm happy that I decided to do this project again. It seems like it gets easier every time. So until next year...Merry Christmas!