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Sunday, March 30, 2014

For 52 Weeks of 2014: Week 13

 Pair of succulents.

For the first time, this week's photo didn't fit any of the themes / topics of my photography groups.  I've been wanting to get some succulents, and these finally turned up at Ikea. I wish I would have gotten more so that I could line them up all the way across the windowsill, but I'm not much of a house plant person. Actually, I'm not a house plant person at all.  No, make that I'm not a plant person in the least, neither house or outside the house. So it will be interesting to see how these do in my care.

Sunbathing succulents.

2014 Sketch Journal - Week 11

2014 Sketch Journal - Week 11

And yes I'm still a couple of weeks behind on my journal. I thought for sure I'd catch up this week, but I lost the urge to draw after I completed these pages. The theme that I finally decided upon was inspired by Lauren, who has become a quite fiction writer in her spare time. She's been writing some very imaginative stories. Her favorite genres are:

 --Animals (typically in some kind of danger)
 --The zombie apocalypse.

Coincidentally, the day after I drew this typewriter, Mel C congratulated me on my appointment to assistant vice president by giving me a card with a vintage typewriter on the front. She also gave me a chocolate Jesus, but that's a whole other story.

As a side note, in concept I really liked the idea of the letters flying from the typewriter, but after I filled in my entries, it ended up looking too busy. Oh well.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

For 52 Weeks of 2014: Week 12

Hippity hoppity Easter's on it's way.

As I mentioned last week, I'm going off topic again. I think I've pretty much decided at this point that I'm not going to follow the themes of my 52 Weeks group. There's another group that I belong to that also does weekly theme challenges, and their topics are more general and less like photography skills challenges. I wish I would have chosen to do that group's themes instead because I think they fit more with what I like to shoot. For example, that group's theme was "Half" this week, and this photo would have been right at home there.

I don't think I've ever mentioned it, but I have a weird way of organizing my photos. For the last 5 years or so, I've filed them by season and the year - Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall and Christmas. Christmas gets it's own folder because I take A LOT of photos for Christmas. Winter is for the time frame between January 1st and the first day of spring. For some reason, this system really works for me, and I can usually find a photo pretty easily when I need to, probably because I take so many seasonal photos. Anyway, since Thursday was the day week of spring, it was finally time to create my Spring 2014 folder. So this week's photo had to be something spring-y. With temps still in the 30's this week and no signs of spring flowers, plastic Easter eggs will have to do!


2014 Sketch Journal - Week 10

2014 Sketch Journal - Week 10

I'm still behind on my journal, but only because I can't come up with anything to draw for the week starting March 10th! I know that I'm going to do a spring theme for this past week, so I may just have to resort to a St. Patrick's Day theme for the week prior to that just to be able to move on. That would pain me somewhat, as I just don't get St. Patrick's Day, and I don't celebrate it. Hey, I'm Italian and we don't get our own holiday, now do we?

Anyway, I really like how these pages turned out. I think it's a nice tribute to Big Mama and Julie fish. :)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

For 52 Weeks of 2014: Week 11

 Serial of cereal.

Once again, I decided to veer from this week's topic. It was "In Your Local Area," and while I could have easily gone out and shot something in my neighborhood, I just wasn't feeling it. In fact, next week's topic is "double exposure," which I'm not into either. So now I'm questioning whether I should continue with the themes or just do my own thing for now on. I do still plan on keeping up the project though.

Instead, here are some bowls of cereal. We love cereal. Mark and Lauren eat it practically everyday. Lauren is particularly obsessed with Double Chocolate Krave (in the green bowl) and has probably eaten it almost daily for the last six months. I only get to eat cereal on the weekends. Right now, my favorite is Banana Nut Crunch that I get from Aldi, but sometimes I like to have a bowl of oatmeal with some blueberries.

2014 Sketch Journal - Week 9

I'm still terribly behind on my journal, but since I worked on it this week, at least the backlog hasn't grown. This week's layout was inspired by a gift that I received from my friend Dolores. Sometime ago, she had sent me a jar of Branches Citrus Blossom honey (Apparently, Dolores knows her honey, because it made Oprah's "O List"!). Since I was sick with a cold, I decided to try it in some peach tea. It was absolutely amazing! Now I've been enjoying it whenever I can. After I took a photo of my pages, I realized that I had totally forgotten to mention it! So rest assured that I wrote it in after the fact.

While I like how the beehive and bubble bee turned out, my teacup isn't what I had envisioned. Since I'm behind, I kind of rushed through this, so I'll have to have another go at drawing tea cups another time. The little flower stickers came from Japan. I stumbled upon them on Etsy, along with some really adorable cats and dogs stickers and Eiffel Tower stickers that I'm certain to use on future pages.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A tale of two fish.

When I said that you were like a fish out of water, that's not exactly what I meant.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

This week, we said goodbye to Lauren's goldfish, Julie. Lauren has had Julie since we moved her into her "big girl" room, so it's been about three years. I thought she was just the prettiest fish. I would often go into Lauren's room just to watch her swim in her bowl. She actually had gotten some fungus earlier this year but Mark, the fish expert that he is, gave her some medicine that made her good as new. However it wasn't meant to last because she suddenly fell ill again this week, but only this time, it was like she had a stroke or an aneurysm (if that's even possible). She was just floating suspended in the middle of bowl, staring wide eyed into space and wouldn't respond to any stimulus. She was gone the next day.

RIP Julie fish.

Here's the memorial that Lauren made for Julie.

At the same, another fish was in the need of help. Our pond has been completely ravaged this winter. Last weekend, Mark tried to break up some of the ice and add water to the pond in hopes that there would be some sign of life. Shortly after, he found our biggest fish, Mommy Fish (Lauren thinks she's the one who has all the babies.) floating on her side. I thought she was already dead, but Mark saw that her gills were still moving. So he put her into a bucket and brought her into the house. Then he began the process of nursing her back to health by setting up a small air pump and coaxing her to eat peas (Apparently this is a well known fish treatment).

At first, her condition didn't seem to improve, but by mid-week she wasn't lying on her side anymore and started swimming more and more. She's now residing inside a large plastic storage container in our dining room until the pond thaws once and for all.

Visiting hours.

Of course, the dogs can't help themselves and insist on visiting the patient.

Grumpy fish.

Why so grumpy? You are one lucky fish!

For 52 Weeks of 2014: Week 10 - Symmetry

Rainbow roulette.

I'm in a terrible creative funk again. I have little motivation to do anything right now except sit around and play Candy Crush. Hopefully I snap out of it soon!

Thankfully we turned the clocks ahead this weekend, so I can start shooting on weeknights again and not just weekends. I also need to catch up on my sketch journal which is also being impacted by the creative funk.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

For 52 Weeks of 2014: Week 9 - Macro / Close-up

Don't rain on my parade.

One of my 2014 resolutions was to take more photos with my iPhone, and I've really been owning up to it. Getty Images launched a new mobile app at the end of last year, so most of what I've been shooting hasn't been making it to Flickr because I can submit my work directly from my phone. I've also been getting a hang of editing photos on my phone. It's such a nicer workflow than sitting for hours at my computer downloading, editing, uploading and keywording. I especially love using Hipstamatic, which is a photo app where you change your "film" and "lens" to create different effects. It's really fun!

We were supposed a huge snowstorm today, but it ended up being a big nothing. I think we barely got two inches, when at one point up to a foot was predicted! I used the time at home today to get caught up on my sketchbook journal. If you scroll back, you'll see that they've been back filled up to this past week.

2014 Sketch Journal - Week 8

2014 Sketch Journal - Week 8

This week's theme is Carnival, not only because they are celebrating it in Venice, but also because our Girl Scout troop represented Italy at last Sunday's International Day. So Italy was really on my mind! I think this year was our best effort yet. The girl's wore chef's hats and mustaches and served wedding soup, pepperoni rolls and pasta our "trattoria." For our skit, they put on a puppet show with puppets that they made from duct tape, and had them sing a long with Dean Martin to "That's Amore." The crowd got a kick out of it. We also made Carnival masks to decorate our booth, and I absolutely loved drawing these for my journal. So fun!