Tuesday, December 6, 2011

This is why I am not a photographer.

Well, this, and the fact I am not talented!  Attempting to take Christmas card photos tonight = epic fail.  Ava was a bit, mmm, sassy today. 

Better luck tomorrow!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Elfie has arrived.

On 12/1 Elfie came back from the North Pole to visit the girls.  So far he's kept a low profile, not getting into any trouble or toys yet.  Can't imagine that will last for long...

He are a few of his chosen place to rest so far.

This morning we found him in Ava's room, Alexa is hoping he'll make a visit soon in hers.  P.S. this picture above ^^^ is not in her room!  That's in our kitchen.  ;)

Now that the holiday activities are in full swing, I need to get moving on my December Daily.  All of my foundation pages are set, I just need to start adding photos, journaling and embellishments.  To keep on track I have been jotting down a few of the things that went on each day in my notebook.  I'm hoping to sit down one night and get several days done.  Some days are Christmas themed, others just a bit of insight into our daily routines.

Well I should get off the computer and down into my craft area to get moving on some projects.  Night!

Monday, November 28, 2011

December Daily 2011 - album cover

Long time no blog.  Every time I say I'm going to get better at blogging this year, life gets in the way.  Oh well. 

I did finally finish my December Daily album cover for this year and get all my pages punched and cut.  I used a 6x6 Crate Peppermint pad for some of the pages (glued back to back) and cut down some MME 12 Days of Christmas papers for the rest of the pages.  I have some Ormolu numbers for the pages.  I do need to get my foundation done for journaling.  I plan on using a two-page spread for each day.  One side will hold a 4x6 or multiple small photos and the opposing side will have the journaling.

Here is the album.  A Bo Bunny 6x6 chipboard album.

Pardon the messy work area.  Remnants of the December Bigger than a Breadbox Apron Strings kit (which is awesome, by the way.)

I'll be finishing up the inside page layouts this week...which is good since December is Thursday.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Back from vacation.

And this was my favorite photo:

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Ariel and a good witch and a scary papa

Happy Halloween!  Hope everyone had as much fun as they did!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I'm kind of excited.

Too bad March is 6 months away.

The choice for Cinna is growing on me.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never forget.

To all the men and women who lost their lives 10 years ago today and to all the men and women who continue to serve and protect our nation, thank you.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cleaning and organizing

And, maybe blogging?  Hopefully.  Summer was far too busy and one thing that got pushed back was blogging.  Along with cleaning and organizing my scrap area.  Now that the girls are back in school (Ava in Kindergarten?? What!??) I hope to have a little bit of time for my blog. 

We spent the summer visiting the grandparents' cottages and hung out (a lot) on the beach.  The girls had a blast.  I am a little happy to finally not be packing a suitcase every week. 

Tuesday was the first day of school.  Ava started Kindergarten.  I'm still in denial.  Sometimes she loves it, other times she doesn't.  Usually that corresponds to morning/afternoon. She's pretty whipped by the time I get home from work.  Alexa is loving 2nd grade, she practically did cartwheels to class she was so excited to go back.

I'll have to load up some pictures soon.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hello Spring? Are you there?

Because, you are certainly not here.  I don't know if you realize this, but your cousin, Fall, is hanging around.  It's rainy, cold and windy.  Maybe Fall is confused?  It's definitely not early November.  Please send Fall away, and spend the rest of the season here.


Friday, April 8, 2011

A couple of recent favorites...

Who can resist a picture as sweet as this?  They wanted to sleep in the same bed for a bit.  I didn't bother moving them until they woke in the morning. 

Working on improving my editing, but I just *love* this capture.   We were taking advantage of the decent weather, getting some fresh air in the yard. 

Ava is still totally into having her picture taken.  (As you can see here^)

The most exciting part of our weekend??? Alexa finally l ost her FIRST tooth!  And swallowed it, with her milk at lunch.  Oops!  She had no idea it was finally out, and down it went.  I'm thinking the toothfairy will still make a visit tonight.  She even wrote a letter to let the toothfairy know what happened.  I definitely need to get pictures.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Project 12 - starting off the year on the right foot!

I finally finished my 2010 layouts, and now, I can say I am officially caught up on 2011 so far.  I know it's only two months in, but it's the thought that counts.  ;)

The February layout was made with the ASD March kit.  The January layout was made with the January Studio Calico kit.  Love using kits for these - all the pieces I need are usually already put together.

Now to find the March sketch...

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I can't really tell a difference from a regular full moon.  But, the skies were clear and the moon was definitely bright!  I did a levels adjustment in PSE (I must not have chosen the right WB, I think I left it on "flash" oops).  Then a tiny contrast adjustment on some and ran a sharpening action.  Here are two versions.  What do you think?

I used two different actions, either one look better than the other?

Monday, March 14, 2011

10 pounds. 3 months.

That's the goal.  :) 

Off to bed, so I don't snack while typing...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

POTD - March 6

I certainly don't take a photo a day.  Some days I take none, other days, I'll take 30.  Today I decided to press the "manual focus" button on my camera.  I think I will be rereading the manual, since I really have no idea what I was doing.  But, I did have a willing subject, as you can see.
I didn't bother cloning out the stray hairs.   Just a quick adjustment to the levels and removed the color cast. I did use a new, free action from Pure Photoshop Actions (on their Facebook page) to resize and sharpen for the web.  I think I will be using the action frequently for FB photos.  I've been reading the Scott Kelby book for PSE8 and finally had an "ah-ha" moment with levels.  Now I just need to figure out curves.  If anyone has a good tutorial somewhere for curves, I would greatly appreciate it!

A March Sneak...

Echo Park = happy.  Love all their papers.  Even the ones for "boys" when I only have girls.
Great colors in this page kit! 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Finally catching up on some Apron Strings layouts

I've been slacking on adding these to my blog...and I'm already halfway finished with the March kit (love Echo Park and Basic Grey!)

The February kit came together effortlessly, and the March kit is just as easy to work with.  Sneaks to come tomorrow. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Photo Bliss

Stole the title from the Coffee Shop Blog.

My first attempts at water drops.  Not too bad.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, January 31, 2011


Or how ever you spell it.  But, that is what the media is calling the upcoming snow storm.  Dramatic much?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Furnace: Missing in Action

I know I'm on the computer A LOT.  But, when you don't have access to one regularly, you realize just how much time you really spend on the internet.  We are currently with out a working furnace, or perhaps I should say, one that is working just enough to keep the house warm, but not keep us safe.  So, we absconded to my Dad's.  Hopefully, John and his friend will get the new furnace installed and running correctly today.  We've been camping out since Tuesday. 

The girls are enjoying the "sleepovers" but I'm going a bit stir crazy.  And, I'm missing the February Apron Strings Kit that is sitting (in the cold) on the counter.  From the quick glance I took, it looks fab!

Crossing my fingers for a warm house tonight!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Big Girl Bed!

We finally broke down and switched Ava over to a twin sized bed.    To say she loves it, would be an understatement.  This was her first night in her new bed. 

She arranged her pillows and toys, just so.   Pulled her favorite blanket up to her nose, and was O.U.T.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Just practicing and because they are cute.

Trying to figure out how some editing tricks, and skills work.  Here I ran Coffeeshop's Glamour Glow on a couple random snapshots.  I wanted to remove some of the redness from Ava's cheeks.  I also played around with brightening/whitening her eyes.  Even though the brush was set to a lower opacity (24%), I think the eyes look a little over done?

I've started following along with the 2Peas 12 weeks to better photography course.  Reading the PDFs and doing the practice activities for each lesson.  I'm shooting for Thursday to actually tryout the aperture lesson.  I should be home early enough so I can salvage some daylight.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Blog Hop Winner!

I had my oldest pick a winner from all the entries - she drew names out of a bowl - the winner is...

Blogger Renee said...
New to your blog thanks to Apron Strings! Looking forward to hearing more about your work!
January 7, 2011 8:05 PM

Renee, email Lori at Apron Strings your address.  loriATapronstringsdesignsDOTcom

Thanks for all of your comments, looking forward to another year of Apron Strings kits.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Apron Strings Designs Blog Hop!

Apron Strings is starting off the new year with a bang, or shall we say a Blog Hop?  If I'm your first stop, head back to the Apron Strings blog and see what Lori has put together for this weekend, then work your way back through the designer blogs.

Lori has put together a new design team and the kits are looking fabulous as usual.  I have been looking at the new designers' blogs and just love their work.
Maria Swiatkowski  (<-- you are here!)   
           Sarah Fleming
           Patricia Moussatche (Patchi)
So much inspiration!  I cannot wait to see what everyone creates in the coming months.

Now that winter is here (and boy, did it get C-O-L-D fast this year), I am spending more time in my scrap area.  I keep my ASD kits separate from my "stash" so I can pull them out and work with them, until I'm down to my scraps.  I have to say, December was one of my all-time favorite kits.  Both page kits could be mixed together easily.  Here are a couple of my favorite projects from December:

Look for a tutorial on the Apron Strings blog in the near future for the ribbon flower shown above.

Have you seen the January kits?  Both the Bigger than a Breadbox and Smaller than a Breadbox kits are beautiful, I'm looking forward to the Smaller kit arriving later this month and digging into those My Minds Eye papers.

Oh, and let's not forget the phrase you are looking for!   Why Apron Strings?  One of my favorite features about Apron Strings is having unlimited, penalty-free skips, flips or substitutions.  I have taken advantage of this feature several times! 

Well if you've made it this far, only a couple blogs to go!  Don't forget to leave a comment on each one and you will be entered into a prize drawing for each blog you comment on in addition to Lori's Basic Grey Calendar drawing.  A winner will be picked Monday morning!  From here, you want to head over and visit:

Sarah Fleming

Stop by Monday to see if you won!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Playing with my camera. And Zoobles.

Ava has a fascination with me taking pictures of her tiny, little toys.  So, I broke out my camera and played with it's macro function.  The lighting is poor, but I just wanted to play with the focus, zoom and macro options.

Zoobles, seem to be a hit in this house.  (I don't see the appeal!)

My goal was to get the Zoobles in focus, and  blur out Ava.  Still a work in progress.  Maybe when there is some daylight.  Which will probably be in April!
Ok, maybe Zoobles are a little cute.  Except when the feet/ears/random body part gets stuck open.  Not so cute then.

Ava in the wave pool

Ava in the wave pool

A perfect landing!

A perfect landing!