Saturday, May 30, 2009

The yard sale at the Scrapbook Cupboard

If you're in the market for some crafting supplies, come on down to the Scrapbook Cupboard tomorrow 12-4pm. Friends and I will be setting up shop for a yard sale - Detail are here - click on yard sale when you get to that page.

The Scrapbook Cupboard is located at 516 Bedford Street, East Bridgewater, MA. When you're done shopping in the parking lot, shop in the store and check out all the neat classes they're offering.

Keep your fingers crossed for good weather....Hope to see you there.

My Little Buddy Ryan

I had to pick up a tent for the Scrapbook Cupboard yard sale I'm doing tomorrow and I borrowed it from my friend, Michele. While I was there, I took a few photos of Ryan...who' been on my blog before. At nine months (holy crap - has it really been that long since he came around?), he's still one of the cutest babies I know!

This face comes right from the first sequence of Michele's's the "um, should I or shouldn't I do it?" look
I think Ryan was thinking "why is that huge black box up in this lady's face?"
I like the change from horizonal to vertical - he is so cute - have I said that yet?
Michele said we should try putting Ryan in the grass but he really wasn't down with that.

Generally, I like the SOOC kind of picture but I thought this CoffeeShop action called CoffeeShop Denim was pretty that here.
I love this picture of Michele and Ryan (I would have taken pictures of Ryan's dad, Mike, but he hates me more than Adam hates me when I take his picture).
That's the best smile ever created -thankfully I got one happy picture of him in the 15 minutes I was over...he is just too cute!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

What I did today on my day off...

To me, it is well worth working for 5 hours on Saturday when you can have an entire day off during the today, I did a bunch of things...

Took 2 of my 3 kids to school - Melody has a 4 day school week (I swear that is how it should be at work too!).
Went to Staples to make copies for a photography class that I am teaching in a couple of weeks.
Went to the Ash Street Playground to take pictures of Melody but then it started to rain. (I still got a couple of shots - wanna see?
An old friend and I caught up on Facebook this week and decided that we were going to experiment with our photography in an effort to make us better photographers. Our first challenge is to mess around with exposure compensation and focus. The above photo of Melody was one of the few I managed to fire off before it really started to rain on us at the park (which is right behind our house...literally if you hopped my 6 foot fence in the backyard and then scaled the 20 foot chain link fence you'd be in the park. Melody and I drove the 100 feet around the corner to the playground). Anyway, I shot this at +1 EC but when I pulled it up on CS4, I couldn't help but lower that after the fact - Melody looked a little blown out...with the adjustments I made, I believe that I ended up at +.66 EC instead...

I'd tell you what CoffeeShop action I applied to this if only I could remember...I like the bit of faded color this action made....the little vignetting does it for me too...

Went to The Art Experience to find a certain kind of pen I like to write with.
Went to Costco's to sign up for membership - apparently their photo processing is fantastic and relatively inexpensive for 1 hour.
Melody asked to have lunch at Ikea, so we did.

On the way home, we drove through D.W. Field Park. There's a big pond out there and some woodsy parts. It was pretty dreary and drizzly today...but Melody and I stopped in the park during a light drizzle to take pictures on the pond.
You know I was just praying that she didn't slip into the pond just's very shallow right there but who knows what's in the pond water. A couple of years ago, when the fair was in town, there were 2 gator sightings at the pond (seems that someone who works with this travelling fair decided to let their pet gators free instead of living the travelling fair life...I believe they only ever found one). I'm sure that there was no gator nearby or we wouldn't have been able to see this:

This was papa swan. I think it's weird that his head can turn almost completely behind him.
This was papa swan with one baby swan.This is papa swan with baby swans #1,2 & 3. I took this shot at -1 EC. Still, papa swan and baby #1 were white enough to stand out more than babies #2 & 3.
Same picture adjusted to approximately +.33 EC.

Is it just me or does anyone else out there think that Canons shoot dark? Even at 0 EC, I tend to think that Canons shoot dark - any opinions on that, please post a comment.
This was the entire Swan family - you can't see all the babies - they're on papa swan's right side. Mama Swan is the smaller one that is further away from us in the photo. This pond is separated by a road that we often drive on - and we always try to look for "my" swans. Yes, they're mine - I own them. We've got a few years without seeing the swans out together - but for the most part, they are usually there. And no, I don't know if these are my swans and no I don't really own the swans...but I'd like to think they'd want to come and live in my hot tub or something. I'm not even a bird person - I just think they're pretty...even though these ones need their necks scrubbed...(their necks aren't as white as the rest of them.)
Not only were there swans, there were pigeons, seagulls, mallard ducks and an enormous flock of Canadian Geese. Mel and I watched a goose fight and were surrounded by a bunch of honking geese...not to mention the random piles of fresh goosie poo. YUCK!
Finally, Melody found this feather on the ground - ill!!! I made her put it case a goose was missing that and left it there for later.

Will shoot more this weekend!

Finally here....

...are the long awaited pictures from my best friend's wedding last March - taken by Jerome & Jennifer Braga of studio1923. If you would like to see their Agnes and Michael's wedding pictures - click here.

Be back later with pictures I took today...gotta get some laundry done and pick up the kids from school and because I'm such a great mom, I'll be taking them to the mall to pick out new sneakers - because in all my practicality, I let them get new shoes only when the ones they have are either too small or too beat up to be worn respectfully in public...Adam said that I should take them to get new shoes because Melody's right big toe is saying hi to bugs in the grass through the cute little hole in her sneaker...(overexaggeration - another week and there might be a hole but there isn't one today - I could even wait another week to go to the mall...)

I'm a great mom!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

My parents came up to visit - it was nice to spend a little time with them. And now we can be somewhat restful for a few was by far the best day of the long holiday weekend...and so I got these:
When I first started this blog, I talked about an emotionally perfect picture. While the picture above is not so bad (in my opinion), I like this one better.
...even though the girls are blurry because Angel and Melody were already moving down the slide. It's not the greatest picture ever taken (from a technical standpoint) but I love how Angel's screaming while Melody is happy to be holding onto her big sister.
Here's another one - This is Adam and Odie, the dumbest dog ever created. In this photo, Odie was kissing up to Adam in hopes of getting some left overs for a snack. This picture would have been totally perfect is I got all of Adam's head out of the sun...we were sitting across from each other at our patio table with an umbrella up...
Here's my pretty mom (in-law) who I have to say has been more patient with my incessant photo shooting than some others in our family. Thanks Mom!!! I love this picture of you!

I also got these pictures of Buster today:
Here's where I just called his name...
Here's what he did after I told him to smile....
And the retake because I told him he blinked.

Some news...I will be selling my old Canon Rebel xTi and the kit lens it came with (Canon 18-55mm f/5.6). If you are interested, it's a great starter camera if you haven't gotten a DSLR and want to start somewhere - it's 3 years old and was kept well. If you are interested leave a comment with your email address or email me at the following:
I can send you pictures and specs and any information that you need on it.

If you happen to be in the Southeastern MA area on Sunday, May 31, stop by the annual Scrapbook Cupboard yard sale - I'll have the camera with me for you to check out as well as vending some scrapbooking and stamping items that are coming from my stash (mostly stuff, I haven't or will not use) on the link above for details...

Memorial Day Weekend - an important day to remember those who have gone before us - especially the military men, women and families who everyday sacrifice so that I may sleep well and free. My family and I thank you all with all of our hearts! We think and pray for you often.

Gotta get the kids ready for bed and work on my photography class....Will try to post vacation pictures soon...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Back to Life - back to reality

Vacation is officially over in approximately 5 hours...I shot about 1400 shots this week at the fantastic Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. A great time was had by all I think...I spent much of this afternoon just checking out the pictures I uploaded to my computer. I did get a few great shots...
Taken at the pool - I had the toughest time with shooting at the pool. Light from the water reflects and the sunlight is bright and everyone comes out underexposed...I must have shot 100 shots at the pool and this was the very last one. Thanks, Adam!
Melody's so funny - we were waiting in line to see something (I can't remember now what it was) but here she is telling me to take her picture.
I just want to thank my loving husband for taking this picture of us waiting for the bus...I edited this one in CS4 with an action called CoffeeShop Perfect Portrait and then applied CoffeeShop vignette to it. That is probably the best picture of me and the kids in 8 years...I love this photo!
This is a picture of Angelica walking with her Grammie at Disney's Hollywood Studios. We had to take the monorail the day before and she wasn't able to ride in the cockpit with the other kids so Grammie bought her a special prize and this was right after she gave it to Angelica (the bag in her hand). I vignetted this picture too.
This is Grammie and Melody waiting for the bus.
While this picture looks like sunset, I actually took this picture at 6:30am. Our room was on the 5th floor facing the East - beyond the twig there is a shadow of a mountain - that's Everest - Disney's latest Roller Coaster experience (I think it's like 3 years old)...did not go on that - I do roller coasters but not the ones that give me 3 hour headaches afterwards.
I set my camera on spot metering instead of the usual evaluative metering I keep my camera on.

OK, so none of these pictures look like Disneyworld, I assure you they were taken there this week. I'll post more Disney pictures as they get filtered through CS4...editing for me these days is very slow going as I am still learning about the power of CS4.

I'm off to watch the American Idol season finale...I'm rooting for Kris - and no, I don't vote...I just like to watch the singing...he happens to be cute too. =)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Official End of the Semester

Are you ready for this? I got an A- in Anatomy & Physiology I...I can't believe it!!! I mean, I can because I did all that work but I really did not think that I was that close!!! If you're as excited as me, post a comment at the bottom...

If you go to Massasoit Community College
and need to take Biological Principles, A&P I or Human Genetics, I highly recommend taking those with Dr. William Hanna. I didn't have him for Bio Prin (I had another great teacher, Ms. Diane Salvetti). As fate would have it, I ended up in Dr. Hanna's hybrid A&P I class because I got locked out of the Wednesday night traditional lecture/lab class that I was supposed to take with one of my lab partners from Bio Prin; sorry Jim!). This material isn't easy made even more difficult by taking the class as a hybrid (1/2 online, 1/2 onsite). I liked taking this class with Dr. Hanna because he expects you to be an adult and really motivate yourself to do the work. He was available for questions and help but not to the extent where he was doing the work for you...I think that makes the best kind of teacher. I've had other professors who would only help you if you showed up at office hours with a 5" mini skirt on and two cups of legs are not bad (or were better before kids) but they aren't part of my grades. Anyway, thank you Dr. Hanna for the challenge...bring on A&P II!!!

But before any of that - the real order of business this week is vacation. Unless my niece Caitlyn brings her laptop, I will not be blogging for a week...but I will be shooting down at's Cait's 2nd trip and her brother, Connor's 1st trip down to FL...can't wait to capture those moments...

Hopefully I will have time to post photos later - if not...see you in a week!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I'm ready

I've studied all day and cannot absorb another thing. I'm gonna go to a crop with a bunch of girlfriends and do something completely unnecessary for a change. I think I'm ready for tomorrow's final. I'm sure that I will be up early tomorrow am to re-review...

We were just outside blowing bubbles in the wind in the backyard....this is what I got...

I climbed up the playground to take this picture of Dylan on the trapeze. I also did this to the picture:I did the CoffeeShop vignette to this picture 2x. Nice...

I also got them together on the slide - this was their idea - not mine...they're better at composing a shot than I am.

Both shots were taken with my Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 on my new Canon 50D.

And now I'm packing for this crop - I'm so ready for this vacation!!!! YAHOO!!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Little Bit of a Breather

Next test isn't until Monday - it's the final...and then I am SO on vacation!!!!

Unfortunately, all the studying I've had to do has taken up all my time to do the fun stuff - like play with my camera. The good news is that the semester is over on Monday....I'm hoping for a B as an A is a little bit beyond my reach at this point...keep your fingers crossed for me...

I did though manage to decompress by fiddling with Photoshop CS4:
This is a shot of Melody falling onto Angelica. What I figured out was that if you don't rename your original photo and save it as something else, you will save over the original. In PSE6.0, you can save original and the newly edited version of the picture. (I'm sure when I have more time, I will learn CS4 well enough to be comfortable).
An unedited shot from that same set:

I can't remember what action I applied to the original shot but I love the color after the edit.

This is a picture I took the last time we went to Disney of Cinderella's Castle. I applied an action called CoffeeShop Teeny Tiny World (download from here)
It's hard to see but if you look at this picture and compare it to the following photo, you can see that the second photo looks like a "model-sized" Cinderella's Castle.
Pretty cool...I'll have to find something to shoot that will make that action more useful.

All that being said, while photoshopping is neat, I, for one, want to make sure that I take that photo properly SOOC without having to edit so much - I would rather use my time taking pictures that post-producing them...maybe someday if I ever make it to the big time, photoshopping will become a bigger part of my life...for now, I'm perfectly happy just taking the pictures.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My Selfless Plug

It's up there - on the calendar at the Scrapbook Cupboard...

I'll be teaching two photography classes - one designed for DSLR owners and the other for Point-n-Shooters...

The DSLR class is on Saturday, June 13, 2009 3:30-7:30pm
The Point-n-Shoot class is on Saturday, June 27, 2009 1:00-3:30pm

Both classes, weather permitting, will give us some time to do an outdoor shoot, offsite - this part of the class comes at the end and is totally optional. We'll have a little bit of one-on-one time to talk about the shots while looking at them in your camera and if you want to, you can email me them for more technical analysis.

I highly recommend the following:
READ YOUR CAMERA MANUAL BEFORE CLASS. I am not familiar with every digital camera out this is where you help yourself...It may not have as much meaning to you as it will after and yes, it is somewhat dry reading but you should have a base knowledge of what your camera can do so that learning the other stuff becomes more relevant (and fun!)
BRING A PEN. Lots of notes to take in this class. You'll get lots of notes and you will have to take more - these chock full of a lot of good information.
BRING YOUR CAMERA so that you can participate in the shoot and look at it while you are learning.

NOTE: I am not a professional photographer. I just love this stuff and finally wrapped my head around the technical stuff enough to pass on the knowledge to others. I did take a few classes with the fabulous Karen Russell but I am NOT teaching her class...she worked very hard on designing one of the best classes I've ever taken in my life...and I've worked hard on designing one for beginner photographers/scrapbookers. I certainly invite you to take her classes if you can get in (believe me...getting into that online class was near the top of my lucky list!!!!).
Thanks Karen for being one of the greatest teachers, I've ever had!

Sign up today - call the Scrapbook Cupboard - 508-378-0008.
Thanks Bev, for the opportunity to share my love of photography with your customers!

My new camera

I'm in love - with my new camera...

The weather here in New England is seasonal for early May, after we had 2 90 degree days a couple of weeks I sat with the kids in my half-circle driveway and took their pictures.
My Angel...
Since I began really studying photography, I don't often take subject centered pictures...but I still like them when they happen. A little bit of sunflare...I can dig it!
Sometimes, I think she just looks so much older when she is serious.
That's the last time she's wearing those pants...they're a little short...the good news is she's growing...good thing too because I think her little sister is almost bigger than her. and sister-ly love! I knew I had them close for a reason.
Miss Melody in her favorite purple shirt.
Even though her face is not completely focused, I still like this picture of Melody. While her hair looks so dark here, she actually has some good natural reddish/brown highlights that you can't see here. Here is Melody with another dandelion in her hand...she likes to take them and feed them to Odie as a snack.
Here are my little ones, trying to make one big people tower. Here's where they started to poop out after the tower fell.
Miss Melody taking the spotlight....this happens a lot...

All the above pictures were taken SOOC (straight out of the camera) with my Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 attached to my Canon 50D.

I'm still fiddling with my Photoshop CS4 program - just downloaded a bunch of free actions from
CoffeeShop blog. Will let you know how it goes but there are some really nice things on there for both Photoshop and Elements. Check them out...

Stay tuned for my selfless plug regarding a photography class (or 2)....