Monday, January 30, 2012

Thankful

I just returned from accompanying my dad to Seattle, Washington for 12 days so he could have open heart surgery. Thankfully the surgery went well and my dad is recovering nicely. 


My dad is a Vietnam Veteran. He didn't retire from the Army, but he served about 19 months in Vietnam earning him VA privileges. Many would laugh at the use of privileges, especially when it comes to government run health care, but when you don't have health insurance, as many in this country don't, believe me, it is a privilege. During his time at the Puget Sound VAMC, I encountered many vets, most were in pretty rough shape. Seeing these people and their families made me appreciate our country, the men and women who serve to protect it, and their families, that much more.
  
As a military wife I am very familiar with the sacrifices that not only our soldiers make, but that we, the families, make. I realize it's not Veterans' Day, but we shouldn't just reserve one day out of the year to show our gratitude. Remember to thank a Vet today and if you're looking for a little more than words to show your thanks, there are always volunteer opportunities at VA clinics.




To my fellow military wives, thank you for your sacrifices. As a small token of my appreciation, I wanted to design something to cut on my Silhouette Cameo that would represent many wives. I made this for a fellow military wife whose husband, a Blackhawk pilot, is on his 4th or 5th deployment. Thanks Paige, you're an amazing wife, mother, and person! 


I know it's often difficult to see, especially during campaigns where the political divide is so obviously evident, but now more than ever, I am certain that I live in the greatest country and couldn't be more thankful. 


Friday, January 13, 2012

Free Classroom Subway Art File for Silhouette

I have had a lot of people indicating that they want to make the Classroom Subway Art so I've decided to share it for a limited time.  Click on the link above or the photo to get to the original post where the download link is located.


As a favor to me, please consider following my blog and mentioning my blog when you use this file. In addition, please note that this is for personal use and not for resale.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 A Year of Change

*Warning this may be a long and boring post for most, but it's about me, so if you're interested, read on.


Often times I feel like I lack creative vision and quite honestly that's exactly why I have such a hard time following through with a lot of things. It's a terrible thing really, always trying to achieve perfection when I know it's not always realistic. 

When I was a child I wouldn't use my brand new crayons or markers for a long time for fear of ruining the tips. I wouldn't draw that picture I had in my mind because I knew it wouldn't come out exactly as I pictured it. As an adult, I'm not much different. I feel like I want my house to look a certain way, but knowing it won't, I don't try to turn my vision into reality. I want to try new activities, but out of fear of failure, I just don't bother. It's terrible really, so I'm declaring 2012 a year of change.

One thing that I've always had a passion for is photography. I can remember all the different feelings evoked from looking at photos. It's like pictures spoke to me. What few photos I saw of my grandparents made me feel like I had really known them, but it also made me realize how much of my history was missing. I've only ever seen one photo of my mother as baby, none of her as a child, and only a handful of her as a young adult. This could be because she lost her mother when she was nine years old and she grew up in a materially modest upbringing in remote Western Alaska where I'm sure not many of her relatives had cameras. This void of seeing my mom's past sparked an obssession to document my life, and it only intensified when she passed away in 1996. I remember loving to take pictures with my Mom's Poloroid camera. Then when I was seven or eight, I got my first 35mm camera from my Dad and so began my real obsession with taking pictures.

A few years ago, when my interest in photography was at its peak, I decided to give studio photography a shot. With the help of some family members, I got some basic equipment and started portfolio building. I loved it. I took a lot of photos of many many faces, but there was still always that strive for perfection that left me unsatisfied. So the need for perfection coupled with never ending technical difficulties,  I quit taking pictures all together. I put away my equipment, sold my good camera (Nikon D700) and just went about taking mediocre pictures with a half broken Fuji S3 Pro camera and a barely working Tamron lens. Recently, however, I have had more and more people wanting me to photograph their kids. After months of inquiries, I have taken a few photos and am still being convinced to take more. 


Why all the babbling? Well, today while I was on the internet I saw something that got my excitement for photography going again.




The announcement of the New Nikon D4! Seriously it got my blood flowing again! Not that I'm planning on buying this bad boy, cause let's be real here! My unemployed stay-at-home mom status will not afford me a $6,000 camera, but I can sure dream, right?!  Perhaps I'll get lucky and some rich person wanting to spend some of their petty cash will find me and donate this beautiful piece of equipment to me so my kids, who have dubbed me Mamarazzi, will really have something to frown about. I know, I know, it's highly unlikely, but I am liking this dreaming thing so I'm just going to keep at it.  If you were brave enough to endure all the babbling, then you deserve a little more eye candy, so here you go.




2012 will be a year of dreaming, but more importantly a year of change. Thanks Nikon for the inspiration to shoot again!



Monday, January 2, 2012

Sometimes Less Is More

I have to be honest, I love some of the elaborate backgrounds and beautiful props that some photographers use. However, sometimes less really can be more. 


You don't need a fancy background or crazy fun prop to get a good portrait.


Just get up close, focus on the eye, and you've captured a timeless image.


The most important thing to remember is to capture your subject(s) as they are, not how you think they should be. 


You might not always get cooperative subjects with beautiful smiles like this gorgeous girl,


but at least you've documented history as it just was. So dig out those cameras and happy shooting!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! I hope that everyone is off to a great 2012!
I don't normally make resolutions knowing very well that I'll probably break them, but I'm going to give it a shot this year. 

My 2012 Resolutions are:

1. To avoid being nominated for the Hoarder's show by PURGING and decrapifying my life.

2. To spend more QUALITY time with my girls.

3. To complete unfinished projects pre 2012.

4. To actually keep up with this blog.

5. To have a crazy fun world.

6. To laugh more.

7.  To take better care of me.

And last but not least,

8. To walk the dog everyday, so maybe some bonding time will allow him to quit being such a rebel and running away from me every chance he gets. 


I hope this year brings you much happiness, good health, and lots of  fun. Happy New Year!
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