Friday, July 30, 2010

Naked {The Sunday Creative: July 25-31}

I know I said I was taking a short break and I am, however, I did mention that I was going to continue a few creative projects. Well, The Sunday Creative, just happens to be one. This week's prompt was 'Naked', a very good prompt, one that could bring many wonderful interpretations (if you head on over to The Sunday Creative you can check them out). Naturally, we were advised to keep it PG-13 and I would have it no other way. Anyway, here's my interpretation...

A few simple crayolas...

All dirty, broken, naked and bare...

Still overflowing with the ability to create something beautiful!

Even when we are broken, naked and bare we still have the ability to be beautiful and to create beautiful things, we are all just simple crayolas, we just need to be put to good use to remember our beauty.

Go forth and be beautiful and create beautiful things! Enjoy the last days of summer!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.

-- Russel Baker

Summer is coming to an end, soon I have to quit procrastinating and start thinking about preschool lessons and weekly social activities, as those around us will be going back to public school and we will be staying home. I have to kick my brain back into working mode and come up with ways to keep my children entertained during the week, exhausting every resource our tiny town has, in order to keep from becoming couch potatoes when the weather turns chilly. I've got to bring back the schedule, because face it, I need schedules and checklist to keep things on course. All this sounds daunting to me, however it is exciting at the same time. It's a new adventure I am taking on, teaching my children myself. I know they "learn" from me everyday, but this is different, I am making myself the sole person responsible for educating their spongy little minds! Wait! Summer's not over yet! I still have a few weeks before I absolutely have to bother my mind with all this stuff, I can push it off to this side for just a little while longer! We are going to get the most out of the rest of our carefree summer and do as much fun mindless things as possible! I might be gone for a few weeks to enjoy the rest of our summer, I'll still post to my 365 project here and on flickr, but I'm taking a break from blogging and the long list of creative projects {I'm going still going to do like two, I couldn't quit them all completely, it's not in my creative nature}. So here's to summer and the days that have past and the days that are to come! Enjoy the rest of your summer, my blog world friends! I'll see you in a few weeks!

These last weeks of summer we are going to try to stay cool...
Laugh out loud everyday...

Get wet...

Splash in the water...

Be free and have fun...

Play a little longer...

And enjoy every moment!
Happy Summer Fun Everyone!

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Girl should be two things, Fabulous and Classy

This week I was honored to have a photo session with two fabulous and classy girls! Two girls who just happen to be my cousins. I had so much fun and I'm grateful to them for being such wonderful models and for the much needed practice!

Here are a few of our favorites from the session!

These are my favorite of Sam's photos!
I thought she was a natural at modeling!

Beautiful Sisters!

Miss Savanna was nervous at first, but after we loosened her up she had lots of fun and we got some great shots!

The first shot of the day

My favorite one of the day! She wanted bubbles and it was so fun taking this set of shots!

Two more favorites, Classy Punk Rocker and Cute Secret Spy!

Sam had fun for the most part, but she really had fun when we got her uncle's bike out.

The last one of the day, the sun is almost gone...

Lord help the mister who comes between me and my sister,
and Lord help the sister who come between me and my man!

I had a blast doing this photo shoot, thank you girls for a wonderful session!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Traditional {The Sunday Creative}

I missed out on the last few prompts on "The Sunday Creative", mostly due to my lack of creativity and time. However, this week I really wanted to try to think of something. So, I continued to think of an idea while I went on with my daily routines and worked on my various projects. I just couldn't come up with an idea I was happy with, my creative juices just haven't been flowing like they should. Then yesterday, while the boys were napping I started to search for something to use for my picture of the day. I sat outside and patiently waited for some dragonflies to land on a near by plant again, but they never did. Then I went in search for flowers, luckily the tiny yellow flowers in my flower bed have some how figured out how to beat the crazy heat.  I got a few shots of my flowers and also tried out using a background behind them instead of the natural background, they turned out ok, but, I'd like to keep experimenting more with the background. After going back inside, the boys were still asleep and I had to time to take more pictures. While searching for a subjects, my eyes found my Nannie's (my great grandma's) teapot. Then an idea sparked and I was digging through old jewelry boxes in search of my other great grandma's pearls. Pearls and china what is more traditional/classic than that?

After taking my shots I put them on my computer to view them and started thinking about the word traditional and it's relation to my pictures...Pearls and china are traditional, but THESE specific pearls and pieces of china speak tradition to me in many other ways. The actual items themselves are not part of my memories or traditions...they are just the pieces of property that were handed down to me after my great grandmothers passed aways. It's the women who use to own them that speak the word tradition to me.

The China: Sunday drives after church to visit my Nannie and Poppie are a very prominent childhood memories. Laying on her lap while she scratched my back. How soft, bright and breezy her living room was during the day. The little notes she sent me while I was off at college. The joy I felt that she was able to see our first born grow well into his first year and how blessed we were to have five generations. Her beans, her cornbread, all those little plastic bags she saved, oh and her roast! Her hair, the stockings she always wore, the house shoes she left by the front door that never stepped foot outside. These are the many memories and the little traditional things about my Nannie, Betty Jo, that wonder around my mind and resurface when I look at the things I have that once belonged to her.

The pearls: Laying in the floor watching afternoon game shows with my Great Grandma Marcie is one of my biggest childhood memories of her. I don't know if I remember her ever wearing these pearls, at least not when I was around, but she did always have a necklace and  matching earrings on. I do remember the walks to convenient store down the block with my cousin and her letting us buy those candy cigarettes (remember those?), I remember sitting on her front porch covered with the fake green grass and aluminum chairs. I remember her house and the mermaids in the bathroom and no slip decals in the tub. I remember feeling the rooms always seemed a little mysterious, but yet I felt comfortable. I remember the metal address book and running the slider up and down the capitalized letters. I remember my grandma quiet, tall, thin, and frail looking, but yet she always seemed to portray quiet strength.

I don't remember this china ever being used or seeing these pearls worn by my grandma, but, I remember the women. These are the piece that were given to me, that they wanted me to have and that I cherish because of the memories they hold when I think of the women who owned them. Maybe I can pass them down to my boys and hopefully they will keep the tradition and keep them in the family.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Rub a Dub Dub...

This week has definitely been busy and if anyone was to take a look at my 365 project would see it reflected there. The last few days haven't been my most creative and I have actually found myself a little uninspired and unmotivated to say the least. So far this week I've as creatively as I could captured my salt and pepper shakers (which I've had since my hubby and I got married and snagged for a dollar each at Target), my favorite (and only) clock in the house, and some yellow squash we got from a neighbor while on our evening walk (quite kind of him to share his garden). This weekend there I was again, late in the evening and I hadn't even touched my camera, but, I am determined to complete the project I started, to take a photo a day for a year. After all, I've only been in this things for almost two months now. So, there I was giving the boys their evening baths and for whatever reason they took separate baths and it was Parker's turn. I decided to grab my camera and use this moment as my photo for the day, even though I really just wanted to get the boys cleaned and in bed so I could crash on the couch. As I started snapping pictures of my little man I remembered how much I love bath time. There is always excitement in their eyes as they splash around and you can see their little minds at work while they dump water in and out of cups. I was happy I had waited until late to get a picture, because it reminded me where the desire to take better pictures developed...My Kids! I wanted to be able to capture moments like these, they way I remembered them happening. I only wish they boys had taken a bath together that night!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I was blogged by The Maternal Lens!

Today, I was taken some time to do more than upload pictures to my flickr photostream and after viewing some wonderful pictures I headed over to see what activity was going on in my actual photostream. That's when I saw a link posted as a comment  to one of my photos. I clicked on it and much to my surprise I saw that my picture, 'boy's and their toys', was featured on The Maternal Lens as part of their Friday inspiration! The inspiration this Friday being, TOYS! I was pretty excited and thought I would share...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What I learned from a "Bounty" commercial {a Bigger Picture Moment}

Our vacation is officially over, back to life as normal! Eventually life's little challenges creep back into our existence and replace our care free vacation attitude with reminders of  the responsibilities we've taken on...I can no longer pretend that to do list doesn't exists and I can't continue to ignore that pile of laundry I unpacked from the suit cases. Nor can I act like our cabinets aren't empty, not that my boys would EVER let that happen, they are growing boys after all and require AT LEAST five small meals a day (it sounds like a lot, but it's not like I give them a five course meal each time, I did say small)! So, the week begins!
Just in the three days we've "officially" been home we've spent way to much money at the grocery store, installed two ceiling fans, ordered a new dishwasher (which I am SO excited about!), unpacked,  paid bills, been immersed in family drama, kept three doctors appointments, made a trip to the post office, checked install guttering off our home improvement list and I personally washed, dried, folded and put up seven loads of laundry! So, I'm sure your wondering where the "Bounty" commercial came in...don't worry I'm getting there!

So  there I was folding laundry and starting to let life's challenges bog me down and turn me into an uptight, no non-sense mom and wife when the commercial came on. Like any typical household product commercial there was a devoted mother doing something domestic, in this case she was baking in the kitchen with her child, apparently waiting for the arrival of her mother. When the mom wasn't paying attention the kid started drawing on the counter tops with his fingers and the batter she was mixing. When the child said "look mom!" she discovers what he as done and instead of stressing over dirty counter tops, upon the impending arrival of her mother, she joins in the mess making and later cleans the mess with a "bounty" towel.

While the purpose of the commercial was to sell me a product and imply their product makes that moment possible, it just hit me in another way. Being a somewhat smart consumer I knew a paper towel wasn't the root of that easy going moment between mother and child, but, would have to be the result of the mother's state of mind and attitude. If this commercial had been a snippet from my home, in the middle of the week, in between our to do list task, waiting for the impending arrival of company, trying to finish the meal planned for those guest, and in the middle of a clean kitchen I would of yelled at my one of my boys and let myself get all worked up and STRESSED! That's when it hit me, why do I let myself get stressed over simple things like this? It really is unrealistic to think that everything is always going to go right all the time and it really is not fun being serious and all work all the time. Not saying I'm not going to get a little upset with crayon on the walls or purple juice purposely spilled on the carpet. However, the toys don't always have to be in a particular box as long as they get put up and it's not that big of a deal if they drag a small bucket of toys out after I just picked up the whole house.  It is OK if they use a shirt from the unattended basket of folded laundry to put on their heads to be silly and no one is hurt when they take all the pillows off the couch to make a "bridge" or landing pad for their jumping stunts (unless of course an elbow meets an eye). Instead, maybe I should do a few jumps myself or grab my own shirt to adorn my head and dance around the room. Life has too many challenges on its own to add unnecessary self-imposed stress, so, even if a crayon happens to meet a wall maybe instead of yelling I should take the time to explain why I am upset. Instead of letting the stress turn me into a mean, yelling, all work no play mommy, I need to let them turn into moments my boys are going to remember me as an understanding, care free, not scary, approachable mom, who occasionally has to get down to business and lay down the law from time to time. After all who wants to come to a person who is always screaming, yelling and making big deals out of every little mistake? I don't, so why would expect my children to once the learn they don't have to. I'm not perfect and I make mistakes, so, I can't expect my kids to be perfect and to never make a mistake. They are kids and they are just trying to enjoy life and giggle a little. Granted, there is a time and place for seriousness, work and order, but, that time isn't all the time.  

So, "Bounty" set out to sell me a paper towel, but ended up reminding me to not sweat the small stuff! Who knew?

{This is us not sweating the small stuff}
{Last day of our vacation we went to a beach to try and get some family photos. This was my first time to use the shutter release remote to capture my family. I set my camera up on a tripod and left it low to the ground, gathered my crew and started clicking away. I was surprised to get several good shots, I put my favorites into this collage. I hope you enjoy!}

Bigger Picture Moment
I saw the Bigger Picture this week, did you? Written in participation with Bigger Picture Moments,a place where we step back and take in life. There are moments where we’re so caught up in it all, the hectic mind boggling pace of the day. We encourage you to take this opportunity to take a moment and view the Bigger Picture. Whatever that means to you. A moment where you recognized the role your faith plays in your every day life. A moment where you take note of motherhood and the importance of what you are doing. A moment that made you stop and smell breathe in the bigness of it all. If you'd like to participate check out the Bigger Picture Blog  or head on over to Peanut butter in my hair for this weeks link up and to share your Bigger Picture Moment.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Textures, Textures, Textures How do I Love Thee...

Well this post isn't really about when or how textures entered my life, but more of a display of what I have done since I discovered them! I troll the web continuously for new textures and constantly add new ones to my collection. I don't remember which ones I use on what photos, I am really bad at not writing it down. However, the majority of the textures I use come from Jerry Jones over at Shadowhouse Creations, a great source for quality textures and good tutorials too. So just for the record, I haven't taken on the task of creating my own textures, I just utilize the wonderful textures created by those who are willing to share! The photos I use however are mine.

The thing I love about textures is they transform a photograph into something totally different and give your photograph a different feel.  Yes you could play around with the colors and make a photo look old or antique. However, that is just the colors, if you have the right combination of textures and layer them right you get something that looks like it IS an old photograph. For me textures can sometimes just add that little something to bring a photo, not necessarily to the next level, but, a different level. If fact, I often have trouble deciding which version I like best, the original photograph or the textured one. They both are usually great and each tells it's own story and has it's own purpose.

Here are some of my favorites I've textured! A few are repeats that you can find under my 365 and Creativity Boot Camp tabs, but, I wanted to share them again just in case you don't make it my other pages...

The Rusty Sign...

{Above is the original photo of a railroad sign... the sign is cool and rusted and I like the blue against the rusty brownish red. However I felt it needed something else...I added a cloud texture because I felt the tiny little wispy could in the top of the photo wasn't enough. Then I just added a grungy texture to compliment the grungy rusted sign. Finally I added a layer mask and took away the added textures from the actual sign, this way the sign itself was unaltered. Below is the finished product}

The Sunny Sunflower...

{This next photograph I actually have several different ways, I just love it so much I've textured it, I've played with the color and kept it the same and I love it in all it's forms, but, here I'm sharing it in it's original and textured version}

Yellow field of horses...

{This is one of my first photos I took with  my new camera that wasn't of my children or garden. We were on the highway making our way to the big city for some shopping...we have to travel to shop since we live in the boonies...when we came across this field covered in yellow flowers. I thought it was amazing and had my husband pull over. This was my favorite shot of the that day. After experimenting with textures, I decided to go back to this photo and see what it looked like with some texture...Below is the result}

Well, this post is starting to get long so I'll just add a few more of my favorite textured pieces without a long description...

A before and after...
Last one, another before and after...

As I mentioned before you can get some great textures from Shadowhouse Creations. I hope you enjoyed my mini gallery of my textured photos...If you'd like to visit Shadowhouse Creations just click here and head on over and start texturizing! 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Good Life...

I spent the past week on vacation with my family and it was truly amazing! Aside from the twenty hour drive each way, we had a wonderful time. The only thing about vacation is knowing it will soon come to an end and at that end is work, chores and the daily grind. However, those vacation memories will fall into the cracks of responsibilities and continue to reminded us how much fun we have with those we see everyday. Something I think we forget because we do get caught up in work, routine, and responsibilities. I spent the week building sand castles, searching for seashells, swimming in the ocean, watching my boys smile everyday, walking the beach with my hubby and watching the boys walk the beach with their daddy...that is the good life! That is the thing that makes going back to the daily grind seem like it is just a moment in time. It reminds us to strive to bring the vacation back home and put a little fun in our everyday life!

These pictures don't even begin to  portray our amazing time!

{Beach on Bald Head Island, we took the ferry from Southport, North Carolina and spent most of the day there! Beautiful is all I can say about the Island!}
{The three men in my life! "Surfing" at Oak Island in North Carolina...God has truly blessed me with so much! I am grateful for the time my boys were able to spend with their daddy!}
{Old Baldy,the reason we took the ferry out to Bald Head Island, but my favorite part was the beach on the other side}
{The sand was by far the favorite part of my boy's trip. They spent all day playing in it when we went to the beach}
{The houses on Bald Head Island were so gorgeous! They were one of my favorite parts of the Island}
{Sunset Beach...I think I got a shot of a pier at all the beaches! they were just so amazing I couldn't resist!}
{The boys and I loved this little phone booth, for different reasons obviously, but it made for a good photo op either way!}
{Our day was almost over on Oak Island Beach, I loved the foamy edges of the water. Definitely the Good life!}

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