I really love having photo prompts, it makes taking a photo a day much easier. Not that I don't take photos on my phone everyday already, but having a prompt makes me be more creative about my photo taking.
I had a really great weekend in Texas. When I came home I started making a dress for my birthday party next Saturday. It's not a big party, I'm only turning 29, so we decided to invite a few friends over for a Mad Men style dinner/cocktail party. All the vintage dresses from that period that I could find online in my size were way too expensive, so I'm making a reproduction vintage pattern.
I'm making the view A with the 3/4 sleeves and the bow back. The fabric in the background is a garnet colored polyester shantung. I cut out all the pieces yesterday and tonight I'll start sewing. It doesn't look like it will be too difficult. I just really hope it fits. I usually tailor every dress I make to fit me and I got lazy yesterday and just cut everything out to fit the pattern. I "think" it will fit. Otherwise, I'll have to break out the spanx haha. So if you don't see me around here for the next few days it's because I've turned myself into a one-woman sweat shop.
Oh and for those of you who were following my Granny a Day project, it has resumed!! Yes, I took like a three month break, but I am determined to finish 365 granny squares no matter what!
While I would love to do a photo a day with my regular camera the lugging around, uploading photos, and posting photos every day scares me away so I really like the iPhone photos for this kind of challenge. I like trying to get the best photos possible out of my phone camera. That makes the challenge fun and keeps it interesting.
Remember back in July when I went to Las Vegas to see my new niece? Well you might not, because I totally dropped the ball on uploading photos from our trip. This is a common occurrence in my life, especially when they are family photos. I take too many, get overwhelmed by all the editing work, and uploading to flickr ahead of me and then forget about them. When I was gathering photos of our last year for my end of the year post I remembered that I never shared anything from our trip. These photos have been on my laptop quietly awaiting seeing the light of day.
We went to the Grand Canyon on our way to Vegas. I was so very excited about all the photo opportunities I would have there. I even rented a wide angle lens just for the occasion. And then it rained the entire time we were there. It was really cold and windy too. In July! All of these reasons made me a really awful person that day. I was grouchy and pouty because my plans didn't go as expected. I took a lot of photos of the canyon, but they were all flat looking on my camera. It was really cloudy and foggy and did I mention rainy?
* I just had to edit this to add this photo. It perfectly documents my feelings at the time. Cold and Unhappy.
My photos just didn't have the color in them that I wanted them to have. Sheldon was really patient with me as I was grousing about how sucky the day was. He and his brother were having the time of their lives and he didn't understand why I was so upset. "Those photos might look crappy right now, but once you get them on the computer and can edit them a little they'll look great. Besides, everyone can get good photos here when it's nice out, these photos will be different because it's so cloudy."
So I uploaded them all to flickr last night. All 5000 of them from our entire trip. I'll weed through them on there, my computer tends to be slow when dealing with a lot of photos in findr. And I ran a few through picnik (these are a little more edited than I would normally do but I like them). The colors started coming out and the clouds really do look pretty good (before and after below). My husband was right. (He'll love that when he reads this haha... You were right Sheldon.) They still aren't what I envisioned but they capture the day and I guess that's all that matters.
I don't think of myself as a photographer at all. I'm just a blogger with a camera, but I'm glad that these photos are starting to look better and show me that my grumpy attitude was really unfounded. So one of my projects for the next few weeks is to go through all these photos edit them and make them pretty. They deserve that. I also have photos of us with Charlotte that need some work too. I'm not going to blog them (probably) but I'll make a flickr set and direct you all there when they're ready for some browsing.
I hope to get an eye-fi card for my camera for my birthday. That way all photos go directly to flickr and I might be more likely to work with them right away. Do any of you have an eye-fi? What do you think of it?
As I said last week, our Christmas cards have turned into quite the ordeal over the years. The first year was really thrown together at the last minute. Sheldon had this idea to take a picture of us dressed up fancy in front of a fireplace with the dogs, I had an idea of us in ugly Christmas sweaters. We couldn't decide which to take so we took both and I photoshopped the Christmas sweater pic over the mantle like it was the previous year's photo. We don't have a fireplace so we went to a friends house who has one and he took our photo. It was pretty frantic and all done in like 10 minutes.
The next year, we had a plan in place early on, then Bella passed away and we decided we didn't want to do our photo without her. But at the last minute, I got the bug and made our costumes for a blog party I was a part of and then turned our dining room into a winter wonderland in one afternoon when Sheldon was away. Could you imagine coming home to this?
We added Bella's embroidered portrait to the tree so she could be in the photo with us. I'm still sad that we didn't get to have her in the photo with her little antlers on. It would have been sooo cute! The only thing photoshopped into this picture is the text "happy holidays". We opted to print these as photos really cheaply through bonusprint who at the time was the cheapest for getting 125 5x7s printed. I backed these cards with card stock and a message from us and Dewey's paw print.
I thought I'd share our process for any of you that might want to do the same thing next year.
We usually think of ideas for our card all year long. Sheldon is really great at coming up with the idea for the card and I'm really good at all the visual details and technical issues (basically putting his idea to life). This year we had a really awesome idea (The Grinch) and then we got Dash and couldn't really figure out how to fit him into our plan so Sheldon decided it would be fun for the photo to be of us opening presents on Christmas morning with him being disheveled and bummed to open the box with Dewey and me being excited to open the box with the new puppy.
Every year I try to find some kind of visual for me to get my creative juices flowing. This image conveyed what we wanted the first year. Last year was of course elf. This year I came across this photo on pinterest and knew it would be the visual inspiration for our photo this year.
The next thing I do is combine Sheldon's idea with the visual inspiration and start making a list of what we will need to pull off our photo. This year was actually really easy. We have a huge roll of kraft paper that we wrap all of our presents with and we had a bunch of chalk left over from our wedding (backdrop finished). I had two sets of sock monkey pajamas that we could wear to be cute and matchy and we had boxes from previous craft show props we could put the dogs in. We also set up a time-line.
We usually set one day to do all the set-up and photography. This year since the backdrop was so big, getting everything done in one day was a must because it covered the whole wall (door included) in our living room.We ended up having to do it all in an evening after work because our weekends were all crazy. In one night, we (me and my friend Meg) drew the backdrop. Then it took the three of us to hang it up.
It was probably 11 by the time all of that was finished. Then I set up the camera (with our remote) and lighting. This is when the fun happens. We had a lot of issues with the dogs this year and had to call in reinforcements (you can see the outtakes below). Levi came over and was able to keep the dog's attention enough for us to get enough photos. He would make a sound to get them to look at him then take the photo using the remote. He really was a lifesaver this year.
Edit, Design, and Print
I edited this photo pretty minimally. I smoothed out the background and lightened it up a bit. We usually just pop the photo into a pre-made photo card design. Last year we didn't but it was a lot of work making the backs for all of the cards. Picking a design is always hard for us. Sheldon doesn't like anything too girly and of course I always go for pink ;) The photo is always the most important part though is it's often difficult to find a pre-made layout that works with the photo. This year, I just happened to come across a perfect one! The colors matched and everything!! Next year, we're picking out the design we want before we take the photo so I can make sure the photo will fit the card.
Like I said, it is a process, but it's worth it in the end. We always have fun and end up with a great photo in the end. And I didn't say this before but Sheldon hates being photographed unless we're doing something silly so this is pretty much my only way to get photos of us together ;)
Ok, Ok, Here are the outtakes from the last two years. I lost the photos from the first year when our laptop got stolen :(
These are photos from the last two weeks. Man I love my iPhone!
Ok guys and gals, I have got to get these Vegas photos edited because I will go insane if I don't at least sort through them and my family is waiting for them as well. So if I don't see you until Friday when I post the next two vlogs don't hate me, ok? If I get through enough of them I'll post a super cute outfit post on Saturday :)
So many phone pics from a very fun week! Okay, the last four photos are from after we returned. I took a lot of video too and hope to figure out how to make a little montage of our trip -- New territory for me, but I think it will be fun.
First of all, I love Samantha Crain. I'm a little biased because she's a friend from college, but still her music is awesome and her voice is very lovely and soothing. This is one of the only videos she has made and this song always reminds me of road trips. My friend John and I drove to Santa Fe once and decided to make a playlist of only songs entitled or about Santa Fe. It's crazy how many of them there are. People love to sing about Santa Fe. So when Samantha released this song, it made me grin. Another song to add to my Santa Fe playlist. :)