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Sunday, May 25, 2014

52 Weeks of 2014- Week 21

Out for a stroll.

I'm still trying to push through my creative funk. After about a year and a half, I thought it was about time that I updated the blog's look. Black is out, and white is in. I couldn't come up with an idea for a new banner photo, so I just used one that I took this week of the dahlias that I got for Mother's Day and played around with it in Photoshop. The font that I used is supposed to be Hannibal Lecter's handwriting - lol.

This week, I've been taking photos with my old Nikon 100mm f/2.8 Series E lens. You have to manually focus with it, so I thought shooting with it would be good exercise. It's tricky to hit the focus, but when you do, it's really sharp. I wouldn't dare try to use it on a moving object.

Growin' my beard.

Other than the dahlias, Marcus was my model. He's been very busy growing his beard and his eyebrows.

Just sittin'.

He put aside his roguishness for just a little while stayed nice and still for me too. He looks so sweet and innocent when he's not trying to eat your underwear, doesn't he?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

2 dogs 1 cat.

Lauren asked me to share this movie trailer that she made about our food obsessed pets. It includes some photos that she took herself along with some of mine and some that she lifted from the internet. I'll try to work in some thoughts about copyright infringement when we have the sex talk, but for now, enjoy the show!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

For 52 Weeks of 2014 - Week 20

Waiting on the windowsill.

So after a three week hiatus, I'm finally back. I've actually been taking my weekly photo, but I just haven't been posting them here in a timely manner. I just back filled the last couple of weeks, so I'm all caught up now. I'm also relatively caught up on my sketch journal, but because I'm behind here by nine weeks, that will take a little more work to get all those online.

Anyway, I've been in a bit of a lazy funk as of late, but I think it may be finally lifting. We had a really busy weekend, but it was a good kind of busy. Yesterday, I took Lauren and her friend to see Godzilla, and then the friend slept over night. They wanted to paint, so I had to sketch them each(!) a drawing (Lauren wanted to paint a husky, while her friend wanted to paint a French Bulldog. Had I not been called upon to do this, I would have never known that I am indeed able to draw a French Bulldog!). I also baked them a chocolate cake for snack, made chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and then tacos for lunch after I went grocery shopping. Then this afternoon, we all went to a Girl Scout event. Yep, lots of Mother of the Year material right there.

52 Weeks of 2014 - Week 19


Even though Lauren picked out a bicycle for her birthday gift, I still wanted to give her a few small gifts that she could open on her actual birthday. Since she loved her friend's Paint Monkey party so much, I got her a big set of acrylic paints, a stack of canvases and a brush and palette set. I was surprised how much she loved them. The entire weekend, She begged me to help her get set up to paint, but we were too busy with other birthday goings-on to try everything out.

So this weekend, we made a point to set aside time to paint. The plein air easel was a Christmas gift I gave to Mark several years ago, but it has sat unused in our basement ever since. I cleaned it up a few months ago with the thought of using it myself. Of course, I never did. Lauren, however, got it all set up right away. Her new paints and brushes all fit perfectly!

Since then, she's been commissioning me to sketch drawings for her to paint. Her first was portrait of her best friend, Kitty Coconut.

 Sitting for her portrait.

As you can see, Kitty Coconut was more than happy to sit for her portrait.

Assessing her progress.

By the looks of it, Kitty Coco was very pleased with the likeness.

52 Weeks of 2014 - Week 18

Minecraft birthday party.

This week, we were incredibly busy celebrating Lauren's birth. Typically, there is so much activity and preparing around this event, that she gets a whole birthweek rather than a birthday. Since we wanted to get her a new bike, we took her shopping to various stores during the week so she could pick out one that she liked. Then on her actual birthday, she brought donuts into school and had a few friends sleep over. Mark bought a tent and set it up in the den. It pretty much filled up the whole room! The girls loved it of course, but ultimately did very little sleeping inside of it.

On Sunday, we celebrated Lauren's birthday with our family. This year, I decorated the dining room with a Minecraft theme. I spent much of Saturday sewing that stuffed Creeper sitting on the mantel.

Minecraft party decorations.

The fusebead Minecraft characters hanging from the chandelier were made while I was banished to the kitchen during the sleepover. Hey, I needed something to do.

Minecraft snacks.

Some snacks inspired by "crafting" items.

Minecraft cake.

I had researched Minecraft cakes online, but just the thought of making one myself stressed me out. In hindsight, I wish I would have given it a shot because the bakery did not follow my directions at all. They iced it with white rather than chocolate icing, and decorated it with a big Creeper graphic that I didn't even request! Lauren still liked it anyway, and I ended up getting a refund from the bakery. So it's all good.

Opening her presents.

As you can see, even Lauren's attire matched the theme.

Make a wish. 

Lastly, here she is getting ready to blow out nine big candles. I think she'll be able to handle ten next year, but I'm not sure I will!