01 April 2010

ten things going on around here

since i've been away for awhile i thought i'd fill you in on all the things that have been going on around here. some good news, some bad news, some things to follow up with in future posts. happy thursday and i hope everyone has a great easter weekend!

1. i'm still trucking along with my marathon training. i've been pleasantly suprised at how things are progressing. i completed 12 miles this past saturday - can you believe that?!?! me either! it's still hard for me to imagine doing twice that amount in one day, but two months ago i never imagined me completing 12 miles either. my fundraising efforts are going pretty good too. you can check things out here.

2. my friend trina is no longer is remission and her leukemia has returned. we are all devasted by this news but also very hopeful that she can still kick the $%@& out of the cancer cells that are taking over her body. she is participating in a clinical trail with the hopes of getting her back into remission so she can undergo a bone marrow transplant. please keep her and her sweet family in your thoughts and prayers.

3. while i was on my extended spring break here in blogland i celebrated my 40th birthday. more details about this coming soon!

4. daddy, aka paul, also celebrated a birthday during my extended spring break and the boys had a great time singing happy birthday and helping blow out the candles.

5. we also had a very exciting visit to the dinosaur trail at the museum of life and science in durham. we had perfect weather and the boys had a great time. the vist was two weeks ago and they are still talking about it! i'm sure a scrapbook layout will be coming here as i did get some great photos. this one might be my favorite...

6. as a birthday present to myself i got myself a new camera - the new canon t2i. so, so excited about it even though there is a hugh learning curve to overcome. i'm really looking forward to learning all about it!

7. during my extended spring break i also decided to purchase a large format printer. i decided to go with the hp photosmart B8550 and have been very happy with the results. i've printed both 4 x 6 photos and some full 12 x 12 layouts and would highly recommend this printer if you're on the hunt for a printer that can print up to 13 x 19. needless to say i've been busy printing out some of my digital pages - like this one, and these, and all of these.

8. i have definitely been keeping up with my project 365 album and am planning a 1Q2010 summary post for next week to share some of my favorite parts.

9. i have also been keeping up with my photochallenge picture taking and will be sharing my signs theme photos in an upcoming post as well.

10. and since tomorrow is good friday and the boys are out of school i'm headed off to two easter parties and two easter eggs hunts this afternoon. i hope the timings works out in my favor since i promised both boys i'd attend. and i've got my new camera ready to take some shots.

30 March 2010

an extended spring break

i got an e-mail from my dad today that went something like this....

blog ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

actually that is all it said... ;-)

and actually i had been thinking a couple of days ago and then again just last night that it was time to pick things up again here in blogland. i was actually starting to miss it. i had needed a little bit of a break so i'm glad i took one. this blog is supposed to be a fun thing for me. and so just like with my scrapbooking, when it starts to feel more like a chore and less like fun, i take a break.

but now i'm back and let's just say that i took an early, extended spring break! and it's been busy around here, lots of stuff happening and lots to post about...so i'll be back tomorrow for a ten things thursday post.

05 March 2010

one digital sketch, three hybird layouts

more layouts from one of the digital templates provided with the class materials in cathy zielske's class called design your life at bigpicturescrapbooking.com. again i used the same digital template to create three different hybird layouts. the digital template was from week 5 of the class and the focus for this particular week is on white space - aka open space, empty space. i like the end result for each of these layouts, but i'm not so certain that i applied the design technique we were to master. as you can see i ended up pretty much filling the white space on almost each one...oh well...i guess white space just really isn't my thing...

p.s. you can select each layout to view it larger....

digital "sketch" - what i started with

layout #1 - the smith sisters. i love these particular photos of my mom and her sister when they were younger. i found them in a box with some other photos - a strip of photobooth pictures...

layout #2 - let's fly a kite. pictures from the summer of 2007. michael flying a kite at the beach...

layout #3 - blake's ming ming mask. i changed the layout a bit for this one as i only had two photos, i really like how this one turned out. i still have the mask and need to incorporate it into the album also...

04 March 2010

ten things thursday - totally random...

happy thursday! today's ten things thursday post is just a list of random things that have been on my mind lately - two online scrapping classes i've signed up to take, some interesting blogs i've come across lately, photography stuff, etc. enjoy!

1. so excited about this class at shimelle.com. it's a short one (daily prompts for three weeks), but it looks really interesting and i cannot wait to see how much of my stash i can go through!

2. i picked up the latest issue of artful blogging and man is it packed with eye candy and inspiration. great photos and interviews with artists who also blog. if you haven't seen an issue of the magazine it is definitely worth a trip to your local mega-bookstore for a peak. some of the links i mention below are right out of this issue.

3. so, so happy to hear that one of my favorite photographers - karen russell - is now letting people audit her ever-so-popular photography class. the wait list for one of her classes is up over 1000, so i'd pretty much given up on the possibility of taking one. but a couple of weeks ago she announced an auditing option for the class - you can view the details here.

4. i think this is a great idea and i'm currently on the hunt for a photo of myself that i can re-create. do you have any in your photo collection that you could re-create?

5. i've also signed up for this class at bigpicturescrapbooking.com. i bought the book a couple of months ago and it has just been sitting on my bookshelf, so when i saw this class was being offered i knew i had to take it. it should be interesting!

6. i really love this new blog that i discovered in the winter issue of artful blogging magazine (see #2 above). definitely a must see.

7. i'm also thinking about taking this class at bigpicturescrapbooking.com. tracey clark wrote about this new class here and it's been on my mind ever since i read the post. guess that means i need to sign up for it as well...

8. one day last week i stopped my one of my favorite inspiration stops. it's an old refurbished cotton warehouse that is now home to several local artists and photographers who showcase and sell their products. i saw these cool photo blocks in one of the "booths" and am now on a mission to reproduce them myself. aren't they awesome - vintage photos transferred onto block pieces of wood...

9. another blog i've bookmarked recently after discovering it in the winter issue of artful blogging magazine (see #2 above) - http://www.madelinebea.blogspot.com/

10. i am so tired of winter, cold, ice and snow and am so ready for spring. this past weekend i printed this picture on an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of cardstock and it is posted where i can see it while working in hopes that spring will be here soon!

01 March 2010

miles completed last week (feb 15th - feb 28th): 15 miles

my longest run/walk this week was 6 miles! i was a little nervous when i saw that milage on my training schedule and actually stressed about it the days leading up to it. but i did it! and it felt great! this was my picture of the day for saturday...

donations are starting to roll in as well and i can honestly say that i've been blow away by the love and support my family and friends have shown me. upon returning home from my 6 miles on saturday, i opened the mailbox to find what ended up totaling $300.00 in donations! how amazing is that?? talk about motivation!!

i also had an interesting conversation this past weekend with my six-year old about why i'm doing all this "miles stuff". our typical conversation on the way to school is that he needs to get a three or a four (that corresponds to good behavior in their complicated scheme of conduct) and then i say "and i'm going to do three miles today, deal?". so he knows that i've been putting in the time, but i guess he wasn't quite sure why i was doing all this. it was certainly a good question and it got me thinking about the real reasons why i am doing this. and this is what i came up with...

1. to obviously raise money for a really good cause (explained in six-year old speak as raising money to help buy medicine for people who were sick like mrs trina)

2. to get in shape, feel better and be healthier (explained in six-year old speak as exercise makes you feel better which is why you have gym and recess at school)

3. to be part of something bigger than myself - because the story of the forest is better than the story of a tree - remember that quote from here (explained in six-year old speak as sometimes it feels go to be part of a big team where everyone wants the same thing - like when your whole class brought in the most shoes for the people in haiti and you beat all the other kindergarten classes and got a cupcake party)

4. and perhaps the best reason, because i can and there are thousands of people sitting in hospital beds undergoing chemo right now who cannot (explained in six-year old speak as remember last summer when we went to visit mrs trina in the hospital and how she stayed there for a really long and wasn't able to leave because she was sick. and now she is home but there are other people in her place at the hospital who are sick)

24 February 2010

a visit to a new park

this past weekend michael was sick with a stomach bug and the hubby was nursing two broken ribs. the weather was really nice - bright, sunny and temperatures in the 60s, so blake and i decided to leave the sickies at home and head out for some fresh air. a new park opened late last summer near our house and i'd been wanting to check it out...so off we went.

the land on which the park sits used to be a working farm in the 1940s and a cattle pasture in the 1990s. today the park consists of some restored farm buildings, a grove of hugh pecan trees, a pond, plenty of open meadows, 3 miles of walking trails and a beautiful stone ribbon wall.

first we checked out the pond...

and then the grove of pecan trees. look how big they are...

and i love the stone wall...

but all blake wanted to do was look for a stick to shoot imaginary bad guys with...

he found one he was really excited about...

and headed straight to the stone wall for cover.

here he is explaining to me that if i put him in the tree he can see more bad guys...

so up he went to "save us".

he was having so much fun - 100% boy and all imagination...

and then when he got shot himself i decided it might be time to go. he agreed only after i told him yes, he could bring the "stick-gun" home too...

it was a really great park and is now definitely on my list of favorites. i bet it is gorgeous in the spring and summer with everything in full bloom...definitely a be-back!!

23 February 2010

photochallenge wrap up, month 2

i'm participating in a year long challenge at photochallenge.org and the month 2 challenge finished this past saturday (feb 20th). i posted the first month challenge photos here and in today's post i'd like to share my photos from month 2.

the theme for month 2 was natural landscape. for this particular challenge the definition of natural landscape was "one that is unaffected by human activity". so the goal was to find location(s) that appear to have not been touched by human hands. and i don't mind saying that when i first read this challenge, i thought it was going to be a little difficult for me for two reasons. first, in north carolina in the middle of winter everything is pretty much just brown. but it did happen to snow here in the plast four weeks so that mixed it up a bit. and second, i typically do not take landscape type photos. i generally like to zoom in, fill the frame with my subject and get as much of the finer detials as i can. so this was indeed a stretch for me. but then again, stretching is why i signed up for this challenge! overall i'm very happy with the four photos i submitted. there's definitley a lot of brown, but i find them all very peaceful looking scenes...

week 1 - carolina forest

week 2 - carolina forest 2. how many shades of brown do you see?

week 3 - some of the white stuff. can you see the beaver damn?

week 4 - carolina lakefront. i really like the sun "flare" in this one.

the theme for month 3 is signs and i've already got some location/ideas swirling around in my head. you can check out the details here and it's not to late to jump in and participate!