Painting The Mood

Of all the “accidents” I managed, this one is has a different kind of interest for me as it almost has a painting like look to it. There are so many times I’ll look at the sky, especially a sunset, and it looks like it has been painted there. I think this is one of the only times I’ve ever managed to flip that on it’s head and get a photo that looks like a painting of the sky.

Continuing The Theme

Here is another moody one from the series of photos I got “accidentally”. It fits my mood at the moment. Can you believe that my cough is actually worse after having gone to the doctor? And not in that “it sometimes gets worse before it gets better” kind of way, either. For this reason alone, I’m ready for spring and warmer temps. This crap is… well… crap.

Cool Mistake

I’ve mentioned before that some of the coolest things I’ve ever created started as a mistake. This may be one of them.

I took this while we were driving the other day. The sun was doing this peekaboo thing from behind the clouds, but there was still a sort of thin layer in front, so it was being filtered, creating this amazing effect. I attempted to get a shot of it, but it was still too bright and blew out my shot.

Because I was in a moving car, I had to adjust quickly or miss the shot. In going that fast, I pushed the levels just a bit too far to the dark end of the scale, but the results are amazing. It really wasn’t that dark, but I love how much of an eerie feel these photos ended up with. Especially with the stark, black silhouette of the trees.

I have another one or two I’ll share over the next couple of days.

Red Tailed Hawk

It seems that whenever I see a hawk, especially one close, I don’t have my camera with me. Probably because that is often when I’m in my car.

We went to my FIL’s yesterday and I decided to take my camera on the off change I’d be able to get something cool, even if it was from a moving vehicle (something that rarely actually happens). Shockingly, I saw dozens of hawks yesterday. Sadly, by the time I saw them, we were already up on them or just too far beyond and I couldn’t get my camera ready in time.

By the time we were almost home, it sort of became this hawk spotting adventure for everyone. Of course, from the time we got off the highway and close to home, we were no longer seeing them. We decided to make a quick pass through the new section and I managed to grab a shot of this guy.

He really was just a bit too far away for me to get a good shot. Even then, this is pretty heavily cropped and the quality isn’t great, but I got a picture anyway.

I predict that the next time I get in my car without my camera, there will be a hawk  sitting on a tree or one of the lamp posts nearby and close enough to almost touch.

Last Of The Snow?

It is still way too early to tell. As of right now, we don’t have any more in the forecast. It is one of the reasons why I hauled MC out yesterday afternoon to try and get a few more photos for his senior pictures because he was adamant he wanted some done in the snow (because that is SO him, the gamer guy that rarely leaves his lair to venture into nature).

We’d had a beautiful, if cold, perfectly clear sky, sunny day. All day. I’d been watching the light trying to figure out the best time to try and get my shots. Just as we walked out the door, clouds came rushing in from the west and killed the light. Of course it did!

I still managed to get a few good ones, but I need to do some editing on them as they aren’t quite good enough. MC said he wants to do some with a range of backgrounds like sunset or even in the spring when the flowers are in bloom. I actually think it is a brilliant idea as I’ll have been taking pictures of him all throughout his senior year. Talk about putting together a true senior portrait package!

They won’t look all perfect and professional, because doing portraits is so not my thing. But… I have several that are really good already. I’m going to have a hell of a time trying to decide which one(s) I’m going to want to print to hang on the wall. I may have to come up with something really creative and do something like a large collage with all of them. I don’t know yet, but something.

On a side note, I’ll be editing my private post with the most current update on that situation for those that chimed in.

Frozen Bubbles!

I did it! I braved the horrid cold and managed to get several amazing shots yesterday. It took a little while as the area I set up in still wasn’t entirely protected by the wind and they broke easily. I felt a bit like a circus monkey in the process.

Blow a bubble, set down the bubble stuff, drop to my camera and attempt to focus only to not be able to find the bubble in my viewfinder because it had already broken. Pop up, rinse and repeat over and over. I did my best to keep them in mostly the same location, but I still needed to refocus on every single one and that sometimes took longer than the bubble could last.

Broken Soap Bubble
Broken Soap Bubble

I got nearly as many broken bubbles as I got whole ones. I almost love the broken ones the most because the way they collapse or break adds so much character and interest.

Frozen Soap Bubble
Frozen Soap Bubble

There are so many things I love about doing these. One is that they are very much like snowflakes in that each one freezes a little differently and creates different feathery, snowflake like patters across the surface.

Frozen Soap Bubble
Frozen Soap Bubble

It is amazing to watch the process of those patterns forming as the bubble freezes.

Broken Frozen Soap Bubble
Broken Frozen Soap Bubble

I had done a little research to see if there was something I could do to make my bubbles stronger. Found that using glycerine is supposed to help and I think it does some. Sadly, it also looks like adding that makes these so much harder to freeze. Of course, it took me about 15 bubbles before I realized these weren’t freezing the same as the ones I did last year, so I had to run back in and remake my bubble solution before I could get any decent photos.

Frozen Soap Bubble
Frozen Soap Bubble
Collapsing Frozen Soap Bubble
Collapsing Frozen Soap Bubble
Frozen Soap Bubble
Frozen Soap Bubble
Collapsing Frozen Soap Bubble
Collapsing Frozen Soap Bubble
Soap Bubble Just Starting To Freeze
Soap Bubble Just Starting To Freeze

Sunset Geese

It is bitterly cold today. Funny, it is also sunny for the first time in a while. The cold and the bit of snow we got late yesterday caused school to cancel today. The timing is such that it gives my kids a 5 day weekend because there were in service days planned for tomorrow and Monday.

I would say that with the sun, it is a perfect day to get out and get pictures, but we are looking at low single digit temps and sub-zero wind chills (the biggest reason why schools closed). I really don’t like the snow enough to freeze bits of myself right off my body, so I’m just going to sit here in my chair and enjoy the snow on the ground against a sunny, blue sky day through the window while enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee, burrowed under my blankets.

If there wasn’t a breeze, I’d risk it to go play with bubbles, but not only is that wind COLD, it makes it impossible to do bubbles. Almost always seems to work that way. Finally get temps low enough and sun, but it always comes with that wind.

A Pretty Kind of Snow

We are getting another snow. Thankfully, this is one of the pretty ones that is wet and sticky and coats everything it touches. I am hoping that it stays that step or two above freezing until everyone is home safe, though. As of right now, the roads are the only thing the snow isn’t coating.

I think it is supposed to snow even more later, so I hope I get a chance to get out and take pictures tomorrow. I’m not moving today. I always forget how much of a work out it is to kneed fondant and you have to do a ton of that to work in the color. I need to remember to maybe try and add color while I’m mixing the batch in the mixer so I can save my arms and chest. That is so much easier than actually working out those muscles so I don’ fee like an out of shape noodle every time I work with fondant.

Maybe if I go lay in the snow, everything will quit hurting. I may be numb and get frostbite, but at least I won’t hurt!

Northern Lights Cake

I finished!

Northern Lights Cake
Northern Lights Cake

Seriously glad it is done, though. It was a blast and, for the most part, it came out really well. I was hoping to add more color, but with that base teal, it didn’t work out. I had several of the issues I kind of expected to have with some color bleeding and in not being able to use the pink or purple because it changed the color too drastically when I attempted to paint it on the base (looked more muddy than pretty).

Northern Lights Cake - Base Paint
Northern Lights Cake – Base Paint

I started by painting the whole thing a lighter version of the sky color I was going for. I realized really quickly that this ended up working in a similar way to my favorite drawing method, the eraser technique, where you put a base color down and either add more to go darker or remove color to go lighter (you can see a tiny bit of that on the left edge of the above photo).

Northern Lights Cake
Northern Lights Cake

I don’t love the tree silhouettes, but they aren’t total garbage. One of the issues I ran into is that my base fondant started to bubble on the bottom tier making my cake look like it isn’t level or that I jacked up the alignment on the top tier. It really isn’t. I didn’t notice until I was taking pictures, so it wasn’t something I could go back and fix.

 

Mostly, I’m thrilled with how this turned out. Even more so after BG finally got a look at it and saw what it was. She is kind of crazy over the northern lights like some teenage girls are over the latest boy band so when she saw this she went nuts. As far as she is concerned, I knocked this one out of the park.

Northern Lights Cake
Northern Lights Cake

All About The Timing

And I missed that timing by a bit. I had planned to try and get out and get some good shots of the moon when it came up last night because we had a rare clear day. The timing ended up messed up because I also had to go pick up BG from dance. I had to be in the car driving when some of the best shots were available.

I managed to grab this one after we got back into the neighborhood, but I didn’t have much time and hadn’t brought my tripod with me, so I had to settle for using my car’s roof for stability. I still love this because there is the deep color from the sky, but I hate that I didn’t have time to set it up to also get the detail of the moon instead of a whited out ball.

It was so much prettier than these pictures show. You can see a few wispy clouds in this one, but there were a few more around, giving the sky some really interesting features. It was especially pretty when you have the moon rising in one direction with the deep blues and the sun setting in the other, with vivid oranges, reds and yellows. (Yes, I have one or two of those I’ll be sharing soon)

I was ticked I missed the couple of geese flyovers that passed near the moon as that would have been a killer shot. I did managed to grab a couple with them in the sunset, but I’m not certain how great those shots came out.

I hated feeling rushed, but at least I got out and tried.

Snow & Ice

I am hopefully wrapping up my work on a graphics project sometime today and will have the amazing finished project to share soon. I’m really excited about what I’ve been working on and that I got the chance to do it.

I had honestly thought that things wouldn’t really start getting crazy around here until at least next month, but things have popped up and seem to be just cramming themselves into my schedule. I’m going to be a giddy mess in a few weeks if things work out because I’ll get to take BG to see Swan Lake performed. I have never seen it and thought it would be a perfect time since their pointe performance this year is to one of the songs from Swan Lake. I’m just waiting on confirmation from her dance friend’s mom that they are going with us.

I also have MC’s scholarship awards ceremony coming up in a few weeks. I’ve shuffled things and made arrangements so I actually get to go. There was a conflict with dance, but our dance friend will be taking BG to class for me that night so I can see MC being rewarded for all of his hard work and determination.

I may complain left and right about feeling like crap with this stupid cough, but… when I stop and look at all that is going on and what my kids are doing, the amazing guy I pulled on all the lucky stars to get, I’m one seriously happy girl and I’m surrounded by some incredible people that keep the joy flowing all around.

Dreaming Of Warmer Days

I’m digging deep for this one and is why it isn’t nearly the quality I usually post. This is from a 2007 Florida vacation. Right now, I’d give a lot to be on a beach with warm temps. Not just because I wouldn’t feel like I’m constantly freezing, but because it SHOULD also mean that I’m not coughing anymore. Even with meds, that crap isn’t budging. Are you as sick of hearing me whine about my cough as I am of coughing?

Peeking Through

It is kind of fitting that my Hyacinths are starting to poke through the ground today showing the first signs of spring. I will probably still need to cover them some as they are calling for a little more snow later in the week. For today, it is going to be sunny and in the 60s and I’ll be spending it with BG doing some birthday shopping for her.

Out Of My Comfort Zone

So, this is very, VERY different for me. I don’t do photos of myself. EVER. But… I’ve officially taken on a staff roll for Envie Magazine as a book reviewer and a profile pic is part of the gig. Both the photo and the spot at the magazine are taking me so far outside my comfort zone I have to keep reminding myself to not freak out, but I’m still excited about it.

The position is a volunteer thing as the magazine’s goal is to remain free to subscribers and to those that want exposure, which I love and is one of the reasons I finally caved after lots of cajoling. My first review is already featured in this month’s edition that came out today.

This is going to be interesting and challenging for me. On the surface, it should be easy to come up with one book review per month, but I’m so picky as a reader and a reviewer, it might be harder than I think to find one I’m willing to recommend every month.

I really love what this amazing group of people are doing for the writing community and indie authors. It is going to be fun to be a part of it.

Epicness And F-Bombs

It isn’t always clear on here, but I tend to be a huge potty mouth. Granted, I’m also a courteous and polite potty mouth and I don’t cuss around people I don’t know or aren’t certain they are okay with cussing and is why I tend to keep it mostly clean on here. I also don’t cuss at people unless they are idiot drivers and even then, they aren’t the ones to hear it.

I do cuss around my kids and they know my rules around it. I’d be fine with them cussing as long as it followed those rules, but they think it is funny to NOT cuss. At least around Hubby and I. We know they do it. They know we know, but they still won’t cuss in front of us. It has become something of a game for them. And yes, we all have a twisted sense of humor that not everyone can appreciate.

Yesterday, MC gets home from school and tells me he nearly got into a head on collision with a bus in the neighborhood. It was in an area where there is kind of a blind curve, at least when you have several large pickup trucks parked in the street. MC was on his side of the road and didn’t see the bus (who was driving WAY too fast for a residential area) and lucked the hell out in that they came up on each other when MC was right in front of a small cul-de-sac and was able to swerve. Otherwise, it would have been one hell of an ugly wreck.

He was obviously a little shaken up, but okay. We talked about it a bit and went on with our afternoon. While I was at dance, Hubby sends me a picture of how close he came, reminding me that we have a dash cam in the car that MC drives. It was kind of freaky to see how bad it could have been in that shot.

When I get home, Hubby is all excited (weirdly) and all “You’ve got to see this!” He shows me the video and I can see exactly what happened, which is even more disturbing, but also kind of shocking at how smooth MC handled the whole thing. I’m still not understanding Hubby’s attitude. Then he’s “now you have to HEAR it.” Apparently our dash cam also records sound. We did not know this.

He turns the sound back on and replays the video, but it is silent. I’m giving him the eye and he just tells me to listen. I see the bus come along, deep into MC’s lane to avoid the trucks and what look like several workmen that were near the trucks. I see MC swerve into the cul-de-sac to avoid the bus and keep going. All still silent. I’m seriously impressed at how cool MC is through the whole event.

Again, I give another side eye to hubby. Then, about two houses after MC passed the bus, you start hearing sound.

He is about a block away from home and he just lets go in these epic bursts. What puts the icing on it is that he has somehow developed this deep, country drawl in his voice that I’ve NEVER heard from him before (he is now blaming his girl, saying that he must have picked it up from her after talking to her so much). It is so much and so different, I almost don’t even recognize it is MC talking.

The first burst is a little mild, then it gets quiet again. I think we are done. Nope. Another couple of houses and we get another burst that is a little longer and a little more colorful before it gets quiet again. Again, I think he is done as it is quiet until he pulls into the driveway.

That is when he lets it ALL come out. All the best, most colorful words are flying from my kid’s mouth. It is this over the top, epic curse fest rant at the bus, the trucks and the guys around the trucks. Hubby, BG, MC and I are all laughing so hard we can hardly breathe. I think we listened to it half a dozen times before we had enough.

His reaction to the whole thing has now given us material that we will never let him live down. “Fucking lumberjacks” said in a deep country drawl will live on for all eternity here and will come back to haunt him over and over again.

It may make me a bad parent, but I was beaming proud of my kid in his amazingly creative use of the F-bomb. I’m also crazy impressed with how ridiculously calm he was during the actual encounter. If I’d been in the driver’s seat, the dash cam would have had a boat load more F-bombs and then some from the very first sight of that bus and there might have been a bit of a wet spot on the seat.

In all seriousness, I’m just thrilled to death that this is something we can laugh about and it all turned out okay.

*The photo is an old one and has nothing at all to do with this post. I just liked it and felt like posting it. We haven’t seen that much snow on the ground here for several years.