Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas is Coming, The Goose is getting Fat!

We are quickly approaching my favorite time of the year! As soon as Thanksgiving was over I began to decorate for Christmas. I am especially excited this year for the holiday because my Las Vegas family is coming out to stay!! I wanted to write a little about Christmas at our house so I quick took some shots of our decorations and thought I would share them.

The little snowman above is a painted ceramic piece that my Mom made when I was a little girl. It is the first decoration I put out every year. My first memory of it was on December 7th 1971. We had just moved into our condo (which I grew up in) and before we even had carpet on the floors I remember finding him in a box and putting him on the gas fireplace. So every year I start the holiday out by putting him on my fireplace mantel!!

Speaking of the fireplace, this is ours. My middle daughter and I love winter for so many reasons! One of the top three reasons has to be because we can finally have fires in the fireplace without looking crazy. Living in So. California we don't get cold weather very often so when we do Amanda and I light a fire!

Last year I looked everywhere for blue stockings. I guess it's weird to have blue stockings because no one sells them. I decided to make my own so I bought all the fabric and trimmings. Two days before Christmas I was still sewing and the sewing machine broke. Long story short, I hand sewed all five stockings in two days and I don't think I slept till they were done. Sewing is not my forte but the girls liked the colors and gems so I was happy.

Amanda's stocking

Emma's stocking- must have FANCY!

While we were decorating the mantel my youngest daughter Emma asked me if we were over doing it on purpose. My answer was YES! Of course we were over doing it! Besides this is the "Star Garland" and I just want to know if one can ever have too many stars?? I think NO.
sparkle sparkle!

Next is the "Jingle Bell Garland" Self explanatory...

While hanging this garland Amanda and I had loads of fun balancing on the back and arms of the couch with an occasional fall into the blinds.

Now onto the "Snowman Garland"! These little guys are so cute I would love to have them all over the house. They came from a Department 56 line called "SnowBiz". Unfortunately the line only lasted one year and they decided to stop making them. =( I was forced to add a couple of Pier 1 snowmen to thicken my collection...

This little snow biz guy is a candy dish
how cute is that??

We kind of feel like if it doesn't move we decorate it. Our house looks like the Christmas section in a department store...

Christmas books are a must! We use them like Christmas music! We only read them during the holidays and then they are gone until next year!! Right now we have them all over the living room tables.
As much as I love beautiful snow globes I keep cheap ones on the table so the children can carry them around and shake them all day long.

More stuff that didn't move...

Lastly, we have the tree! You would have to know me to really understand how I feel about the tree. Until last year I decorated the tree alone and believe me when I tell you how much heat I took for that.

First, you have to realize When I was a child I was never allowed to decorate the tree. My Mom made a beautiful tree with birds, velvet fruit, and satin ribbons. Crazy beautiful. Naturally, when I had my own place and tree I wanted to decorate it myself and for many years I did. Last year I realized someday I will be all alone again and will wish I had three little girls here to decorate my tree!
Last year Emma was the first child to decorate "my" tree and at 4 years old she did a wonderful job! My heart was blessed and it overflowed with a happiness I never knew before.

This year Amanda, Emma and I spent two days listening to Christmas music and decorating, as I said, everything in OUR house that didn't move!

I pray God blesses you during this CHRISTMAS season and fills your New Year with fantastical adventures and shenanigans!

And "May God bless us all everyone!"
- Tiny Tim

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The "real" Photography

This is a repost as I thought it may inspire some film usage!

As much as I love the ease of digital photography, believe me I REALLY love it, I still have an undying passion for black and white silver prints. During this semester I have been working only in film. I have been learning many darkroom and lab techniques that have been used for years and years.

The difference between digital and film photography is that with digital there is so much room for "faking it". If you don't really possess technical skills or knowledge of photography you can still take a great picture and if you can't you can always make it look great during post with photoshop or the like. With film photography you may be able to get a nice shot but you'd better be able to process that film and print it well or it will be very clear you don't know what you're doing.

Film photography is a craft. From the time you capture the image you are thinking about the light and the end result you want. You are planning the process time before you even capture the image. You plan how to print each image and try over and over to get the result you want. You dodge and burn and choose your filters and what paper to use. You time everything from your exposure to your developing to your final wash. I love the quiet time of print spotting to remove that lone piece of dust off the print...

This is the true meaning of the word Craft. Pouring one's heart into creating a piece of art that will never be made exactly the same again. It's a one of a kind. So when you see a black and white photograph, especially a masterfully printed image, take a moment to ponder everything the artist went through to bring that image to life.

I am, in no way, close to being a master printer. If I could have anything it would be to have the time to attempt to become one. Here are some images I created as a self portrait and later I may post a digital image of how I presented them as a sun-shaped clock of the 12 hours that fill my days.

Be true to your craft whatever it may be!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Las Vegas Baby!

Last weekend my favorite family and I drove to Vegas to celebrate my Dad's 70th birthday. It was a fabulous time and we were very sad to leave. I think it's wonderful to have so much family that I genuinely enjoy being around. There is always food, drink, screaming and yelling, more food, teenagers, children, babies, and a ton of hugging and kissing on everyone.

Of course this is a time when the cameras are all out and everyone is being told to "hold that pose" or to "do that again." This is usually my time to put my camera down and just drink in the happenings as my personal memories. If you know me you may know that I'm a firm believer that there are times in life that a moment occurs that was meant just for us to see.
Ha! My children would probably be wondering when that is being that I always have a camera in their faces.

I like to think of myself as a "blender" blending in and out of the picture until maybe I disappear and then people start acting like themselves. Very handy when taking pictures of children.
Speaking of children, I thought this to be a perfect time to capture all the grand children that belong to my 70 year old Pop.

This picture reminded me of a family photo I once saw on a "weird family photo site." It was titled: "Everyone having their own personal adventure!"

It really was a wonderful time of healing and playing and loving. I thank the Living God for my wonderful family and can't wait till we're all together again!!!

Since I was headed to Vegas my baby sister Michelle and I thought it would be a great time to take some fabulous pictures of her and her business partner Heather. They are the lovely ladies of Inhabit Design!

These women are not only beautiful and talented but they work out of a total passion for design. They both emit this air of design and style in everything they do.

View of the city from behind the scenes

It was a little bit like filming a movie called Barbie goes to the Ghetto. While I was editing these photos I noticed that it appeared as though maybe someone was sleeping on the mattress we were taking pictures near... Hey girls check it out and tell me what you think!

We traveled through the city and across the back allies. I crawled around the railroad tracks and through a homeless guy's living room.

We ended up and Michelle's darling home for our final shots.

We even got to wrangle a giant yellow lab in a beautiful new diamond
studded doggie collar. Go Gg!

Thank you to the ladies at Inhabit!! Good Times!

Friday, October 2, 2009

A New Day!

Hello!  Welcome to my very first blog post!  I'm so happy to have finally gotten my act together to get this blog up and running.  My desire here is to share some photos with you on a weekly basis so you can see what I'm working on.

The last several weeks I have been working old school with film.  I had forgotten how wonderful and peaceful it is. Just to stand in the dark all alone and roll the long curly rolls of film onto the little metal reel.  I love watching the clock and agitating the tanks- oh and the spell of fix that lingers on my hands for the rest of the day!

Not only do I love processing film but I love shooting it too.  I love the sound of a film camera when you take the shot.  It's such a wonderful click that sounds so full of hope and then the winding that gets you ready for the next shot.  You can almost feel the film sliding across the back of the camera. 

The very best thing about working with film is that I am forced to leave the comfort of my home (that contains three lovely ladies who listen to loud music, fight, and need me every two minutes) and venture out to the photo lab where I have to work alone and quietly except for the occasional friend that stops in to work.  I don't even mind the 120 students asking me which way their negatives lay on the paper in order to make a contact sheet.