Month: March 2014

Weekly Portraits- The Last Week of March

  Time for more pictures of those silly boys of mine!

  This first one I can’t claim any credit for what-so-ever.  I was hanging out in the office, fiddling with my camera when G came wandering in looking like this.  “I wanted to make you laugh” has become one of his most repeated refrains lately, and hoo boy did this do it.

  This next picture isn’t a great shot of R per se… while he’s definitely a determined little booger who will just keep trying and trying to get what he wants, that maniacal, action movie star look on his face here, isn’t quite him.  But, I thought it was a cool shot…and with 40 weeks worth of portraits still ahead of me, things are gonna get kind of boring if I refuse to use any shots that are “out of character”.

  I like this shot too…he’s not entirely in focus, but I like the softness of it and the way I got an unintentional bokeh effect where the sunlight from the window was reflected off the plant.

  Anyhow, it’s finally starting to warm up here, and we are (hopefully) headed out of the woods in regards to illnesses (stomach flu straight into sinus infection is not making this mama very productive) so hopefully I’ll have some finished projects to share with you guys soon.  This winter has been interminable, and I’ve all but given up on anything but trying to maintain the house at a level of “dull roar” while clinging to a few shreds of sanity.

  I am more than ready for some sunshine and some completed creative endeavors!


Quick and Dirty Macro Effect, without a Macro Lens

  Wanna see the new photography trick I learned?

  BAM.  Enormous G eye, GO.

  So you remember how I said that I needed to work on it a little more before I shared it with you guys?  That’s cuz I was trying to use this technique on the baby…and the cat.  Heads up, this doesn’t work unless you can get your subject to hold super still while you focus (by leaning backwards and forwards with your camera and trying not to shake while you take the shot).  Doing it with a 4 yo took a LOT of patience on both of our parts, and many, many tries before I got a decent shot.  Pretty sure I’d have to tranq the cat (or the baby) to actually get the pictures with them.

  I found this tutorial on Pinterest, pulled the lens off my camera, turned it around and started shooting.

  I’ve only tried it with my 50mm so far…need to break out the 18-55mm and mess around with it, but lordie are there not enough hours in the day right now.

  As I already mentioned, this works best when you’ve got a subject that will hold perfectly still.  I can’t wait to use it for flowers this summer.  Keeping the lens pressed tightly against the body of the camera makes a huge difference…you get a bunch of ugly “noise” if you don’t.

  The tutorial talks about a “bonus” to doing this, to help make more of the pic in focus, but I haven’t figured out what button on my T3 equates to the “DoF” mentioned.  Again, not enough hours.

  Either way, it’s a super cool trick that I’ll be keeping tucked in my back pocket while I’m tooling around with my camera!  If any of you with a T3 try this and figure out what the DoF is, let me know, would you?

Weekly Portraits- The Third Week of March

  Ok winter, it’s time to let up…I’m getting tired of having the same square footage to attempt to come up with interesting portraits of the boys in.  Besides, the wee bit is a climber, and at this point, there’s very little inside the house he can’t climb onto, so all of his shots keep winding up thisclose when he comes barreling towards the camera.

  G is totally on-board with the “lets get OUT of this house” initiative too.
  He stumbled across his box of chalk in the basement the other day and was about rabid to get out and draw on the driveway.  We don’t really have any weather-appropriate, play-outside clothing for R, since he’s not walking yet, and all G’s hand me downs, it was far warmer when he was this age.  I’m not about to go out and invest in teenie tiny snowpants for a week’s wear, so we just waited til R’s nap and ran outside to play before lunch.

  Nothing real special about how I took these shots.  My usual, 50 mm lens.  Both were in Aperture Priority mode with natural light.  I’ve found a new technique that I’m playing with, but I want to get more comfortable with it before I write it up…the shots I’ve gotten so far are unimpressive.  Once I have a little bit of a better handle on it, I’ll explain how it works!

Altered Maternity Tops

I haven’t been doing a whole heck of a lot of sewing lately.  The boys have been crazy, I’ve been sick, we’ve been trying to institute some new, better habits when it comes to keeping the house clean and frankly, with the winter refusing to end, I haven’t wanted to do much but hide under a thick blanket and glare at the sky.

That being said, I have done some alterations to clothes…but I haven’t posted about them, because, to be honest, I really haven’t wanted to take pictures of myself.  It’s overcast, so the lighting for pictures has been awful… also because it’s overcast, I’m grumpy…it’s cold, so I’m generally wrapped in at least 7 layers of clothing, which looks, and feels, extraordinarily frumpy.  My hair is a wreck because of all of the new growth making a poof ball of fly-aways, and hormone changes and the weather have wreaked havoc with my skin.

Basically, I’m vain…and I feel like I look like crap lately, and haven’t wanted it documented.  Go go gadget-ego.  I won’t insult you guys by pretending these haven’t been photo edited.  I have 2 small children, allergies and the photoshop know-how to make the dark circles under my eyes disappear.  Of course I take advantage of it.

Anyways, SEWING!  You guys didn’t come here to hear me talk about how winter sucks and makes me want to crawl in a hole, right?  I finally got around to altering a few of the maternity tops I made when I was pregnant with R.  (You can click on the links below the pictures to see the pre-altered tops)

  With both of these tops, I simply slashed the side seams up to about an inch away from the armpits.  That left the front of the shirt about a foot longer than the back.  I picked the hem out of the back of the shirts, pinned the side seams to my current size and ran the seams through my serger.  Once the seams were attached, I snipped the front panel to match the length of the back.
  For the grey top I used my good ol’ double needle to hem it again.  For the blue top I got to use my new toy!  I’ve desperately wanted a cover stitch machine for years now.  I actually thought that my serger was going to do what cover stitch machines do when I bought it.  I love my serger, but it just can’t handle everything I needed it to.  My Mr. decided that this Christmas was time for me to finally get one.  …except we didn’t get around to, you know, ordering it, until March.  Whoops.  I’ll (eventually) write up some information about the machine, but for now, just know that I used it to make a decorative line of stitching over the side seams on this top, and then hem the bottom.  Both of these tops are already back to being heavy in the rotation…because I like boring, neutrals.  I’m exciting like that.

This is a pretty straight-forward alteration, I know, but, as always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to comment or email!

Weekly Portraits- First and Second Weeks of March

Well, I can’t swear the stomach flu is gone (we thought it was gone the other night and then G threw up again…) but things have calmed down enough for me to do a little bit of photo processing and posting at least!

First up are last week’s pictures.  G’s birthday was Friday (the last day of Feb) and R’s was Monday, so we had the grandparents over on Saturday and did the whole cake-and-presents thing.

  The cake was a creation of the Mr.’s…and was actually brownies that we frosted.  We sort of set ourselves up last year by making G a “Lightning McQueen” cake.  He had just gotten into Cars, and with my being due with R at literally any moment, we didn’t want to get a cake until the last second, just to be sure that we’d be home to serve it!  So instead of doing anything crazy, we bought a pre-made sheet cake (one of the ones with roses, that you see in every grocery-store bakery, everywhere) and plunked a Lightning McQueen Hot Wheel on top.  He loved it, and, as his birthday approached this year, not so subtly indicated he’d like another one.  He obviously didn’t need another Lightning, so we grabbed him an Iron Man figurine…his newest obsession.
  So it seems plunking a small toy on top of the birthday cake is now a thing.  …way easier than trying to do some crazy, detailed frosting rendering, so I’ll take it!

This week’s pictures are from a wrestling match the boys had on our bed.  G loves climbing on our bed, closing the curtains and using our canopy as a secret fort.  For some reason, that secret fort always seems to get wild!  I poked my lens through the curtains, and did my best to get some snaps when faces were showing.

  Don’t let G fool you here, he looks sad, or contemplative…what he is, is UP TO SOMETHING.   R kept dropping the planes and helicopters they’d been playing with behind the headboard, thinking it was hilarious when the Mr had to go get them, and G wanted to get in on that.  He was a little more sneaky about it though, and adopted this faux “I’m zoning out” look before dropping his toy.
  Pretty subtle buddy.  Not so subtle I didn’t see exactly what you were planning…but your Daddy didn’t catch it.  Granted, Daddy was also dealing with this at the time:
  I’ve been working on a huge overhaul of colors and new prints over in my Spoonflower shop, trying to make sure I have a couple of collections to go with me to Quilt Market in May, and once I get that pounded a little bit more into shape, I’ll write that up too!
  Thanks for your patience with the scarcity of posts everybody, it’s been a loooooong winter.