blog_banner 20

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

365 | 365

365 | 365

On January 1, 2013, I set out to shoot every Our Daily Challenge group topic for the year. Our Daily Challenge is a Flickr group where a topic gets posted everyday, and the group members respond with a photo. I've been participating in the group for three years, but I never tried to shoot every topic for the year. I also never tried to do a 365 project or a photo a day project. A 365 project is kind of an equivalent to a marathon for photographers. Many try, but few succeed.

Since there is no way I'd be able to shoot everyday, I allowed myself up to when the topic expired to post a photo (One week). Unfortunately, I spent most of the year a week behind, so I ended up taking a photo almost daily anyway.

There were many, many times that I wanted to quit. I spent way too much time in front of the computer editing and posting photos. I often felt like I did nothing in my free time but photography. Lauren will be the first one to tell you that all I do is photography (In between working full time, volunteering, keeping house, cooking, raising her, etc.).

 As the year draws to a close, there is 
only one thing on my mind.

In exchange for those sacrifices, I've made so many photos that I'm proud to call mine - photos that never would have been born if it wasn't for this project. One of my goals in doing this was to grow my commercial photography portfolio, and around 200 photos that were either shot as a topic because of the topic were invited into the Getty Flickr collection.


While I will not be doing another 365 project in 2014, I will be doing a 52 weeks project which I hope to post here. I'll also be reacquainting myself with my other neglected hobbies. In fact, I plan on taking up sketchbook journaling, and if I don't stink too badly at it, maybe I'll share my work here as well.

Many thanks go out to Mark and Lauren for their help and patience this year. I hope they can someday forgive me for my insanity.

Here's a slideshow of all the photos that were part of the project (I only wish you could see the corresponding topic):

Created with flickr slideshow.

You can also browse them here.

Otherwise, bring on year seven of the Ross Family Equation! :)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013 - Christmas Evening

Cookie helping.

The parade of presents continued as we spent Christmas evening with my family.

Lauren and Spirograph.

Spirograph is back! I will probably enjoy this as much as Lauren.

 Me and grab bag gift.

One of the my many "grab bag" gifts (Which is what my mom has always called any small gift item).


Mark and his grab bags.

Grandma and her Potato Express.

But I got Grandma her own grab bag - a Potato Express!

 Pappy and his kitty calendar.

Here's Pappy showing off the calendar that I made for him, featuring Roxy and Kitty Coconut!

 Craig and Phyllis.

Next it was Aunt Phyllis and Uncle Craig's turn.

 Craig enjoying his hot panini.

Craig certainly enjoyed his Panera Bread hot press panini sandwich!

Craig and Mel C.

And what's even hotter than a Panera Bread panini sandwich? Why Mel C, of course!

That's concludes another Ross Family Christmas. A lot of sweat and tears (but thankfully, no blood) goes into making Christmas happen each year, but in the end, it's always worth it.

Christmas 2013: Christmas Morning

Christmas morn.

Santa came - hooray!

The first gift of Christmas!

Lauren didn't waste anytime digging in. What could be in that big box?

Lauren rockin' out.

Instant rock star kit, of course!

Coco helping.

Another big package - what could be in there? Kitty Coconut is certainly curious about it.

Bow and arrow.

Is it a Red Rider bb gun? No, but you can certainly shoot your eye out with it! It's the real bow and arrow set, which is the gift Lauren wanted the most this year.

Enjoying their presents.

Santa didn't forget our furry friends. Just look at them destroying, I mean, enjoying their gifts!

But what about good ol' Mom and Dad?

 Me and my purple sewing machine.

I got a cute purple sewing machine!

Mark got some lint rollers.

And Mark got some lint rollers. Hey, that's a very thoughtful gift for someone that lives in a three pet household!

Christmas 2013: Christmas Eve.

 Candy cane tart.

Why does the week after Christmas go by so fast every year? Once again, I'm posting Christmas photos at the 11th hour. I didn't even edit them at all, so I've definitely made some progress in relation to my anal retentiveness when it comes to my photos.

 Grandma Pinky's tree.

As always, we spent Christmas Eve at my in-laws.

 Cousin Steve and Aunt Barb.

They got a new tree. It was so big, Aunt Barb had to peek around it to talk with me.

 Tysen and Lindsey.

So who else was there? Well, there was Cousin Lindsey and her fiance Tysen.

 Sean and Megan.

And Cousin Sean and his girlfriend Megan. We like her already - she made the impressive candy cane tart pictured above.

 Jacob playing.

There's our little nephew, Jacob.

 Mike and Daryl.

And Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead (no relation).


Lauren was there, opening her presents.

 Mark and friends.

And so was Jack Hannah.

Noah opening his presents.

Our nephew Noah was was there too.

Beth and Jacob.

And Aunt Beth.

Mr. Sock puppet.

Why, there's Mr. Rogers with his Land of Make Believe friend, Mr. Socko.

Sock puppet.

And his puppeteer contemporary, Sherry Lewis.


Then things got a little crazy when Wolverine and Sabertooth appeared.

Leaf claws.

Run for your life Lauren!

Grandma sweatshirt.

Grandma Pinky hid behind her new sweatshirt (I think you could fit a few more grandchildren on there).

Big fish.

 But Wolverine's reign of terror soon came to an end as Lauren quickly dispatched him.

Dunkin Donuts.

Sadly, Christmas Eve had to end because it was time to make the donuts.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

25 Days of Christmas - Day 25

25 Days of Christmas - Day 25

We're in the middle of Christmasing, so I'll make this quick!

So I know what it means when Santa puts coal in your stocking, but what does it mean when a completely different legendary figure delivers your presents?

(Santa Nessie, aka The Loch Ness Monster hand sewn by Lauren and I last weekend).

Again we've reached the end of the 25 Days of Christmas, but of course there will be still more Christmas in the coming days once I work my way through all the photos!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

25 Days of Christmas - Day 24

25 Days of Christmas - Day 24

 This isn't the photo that I was going to post today (Saving it for tomorrow instead), but I have to say it's one of my favorites from this year's project.

The list.

Here's Kitty Coconut guarding Lauren's list. I have a hunch she's going to be a very happy girl around this time tomorrow. :)

Monday, December 23, 2013

25 Days of Christmas - Day 23

25 Days of Christmas - Day 23

Just a quick one for today - I have something better planned for tomorrow. I'm also happy to report that I finally did watch some of those Christmas shows on the DVR, so I'm feeling less sorry for myself, at least in that respect.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

25 Days of Christmas - Day 22

25 Days of Christmas - Day 22

So busy today - wrapped all the gifts (Although they still need decorated and tagged), went grocery shopping, and baked 2 batches of cookies (3 more to go tomorrow). I start planning and doing for Christmas immediately after Halloween, and I still can't get ahead of it. Maybe tomorrow I can squeeze in a viewing of at least some of those Christmas shows still unwatched on the DVR...

Saturday, December 21, 2013

25 Days of Christmas - Day 21

25 Days of Christmas - Day 21

One more from PPG Place. I give these ice skaters a lot of credit. The weather was awful that day - a rain / snow combination. But they were still skating through it.

I had a lot on my agenda for this weekend, but I can't say that sewing a giant stuffed replica of The Lochness Monster was on it. More on that later.

Friday, December 20, 2013

25 Days of Christmas - Day 20

25 Days of Christmas - Day 20

It's a sure sign that you're losing your mind when you start dressing marshmallows in little hats.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

25 Days of Christmas - Day 19

25 Days of Christmas - Day 19

Just a quick one for today. This is the big red guy himself from PPG Place's “Spirits of Giving From Around the World.” The display has several life sized statues of Santa's or Santa-like people from folklore and legends from around the world.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

25 Days of Christmas - Day 18

25 Days of Christmas - Day 18

This past weekend, we went to visit the gingerbread house display at PPG Place Wintergarden. Once again, our Girl Scout troop made four houses for the display. Thankfully, I was able to locate and get photos of all four, although a couple were a little too deep into the display to get a close-up.

Team Lauren Gingerbread House.

But the house that Lauren's team created was right up front. I'm so happy that the dormers are holding up. It was my idea, and boy, was it a dumb one because they wouldn't stay together and kept collapsing into the house as we were making it!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

25 Days of Christmas - Day 17

25 Days of Christmas - Day 17

Finally, here's why I was making so many pom poms! I saw this idea last year in Marie Claire Idees. I even purchased the wreaths, but because I was knitting scarves, I didn't have time to make them.

Pom pom wreaths.

Here they are up close. I think next year I might look out for white wreaths so that they'll match the tree, and maybe move these into the dining room with the real tree. Then again, that means I'll have to make more pom poms!