As of July 1 I began posting my daily photos over at my main blog, A Fresh Perspective.
I found the need to eliminate one blog, and since this one came second, this is the one.
I hope you will choose to join me over at A Fresh Perspective for daily photos, photo challenges,
and some other fun stuff thrown in.

Monday, January 31, 2011


ISO 400, f/7.1, 1/640s, white balance: auto
I am so exited that I made it through the whole month of January and did not miss a day!  Although I am not thrilled with today's picture.  We looked out this morning and saw all these blackbirds either in or under our bird feeder.  We've never seen blackbirds in our feeder before.  They are usually at the neighbor's feeder.  But the neighbor's feeder was being guarded by a squirrel, so I guess these guys decided to eat breakfast at our place today.  Once their bellies were full, they perched themselves in my neighbor's mulberry tree.  It was a strange site for my kids for some reason, so they asked me to take a picture.  The bird on the top left isn't a blackbird, but I can't quite make out what it is.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/25s, white balance cloudy (because I forgot to change it - oops!)
Keira's bracelet.  I found it in the washing machine last night.  Thankfully it wasn't broken.  I bought this for her a couple years ago from my friend, Jeannie, who owns her own jewelry business, Diva Bead Design.  
(P.S. - This is an unpaid endorsement.)  :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Week 4 Summary

Wow!  Another week over already?!  January is flying by!  Let's hope February does also.  (February seems like the longest month to me, even though it has the least amount of days).

23 - We are life-long Steelers fans and on Sunday we got to watch our favorite team beat the Jets to get into the Super Bowl!  The picture is of Nick's Steelers Rubik's cube.
24 - Our sweet Honeybuns all snow covered.  She LOVES the snow and the cold weather!
25 - A creek at a local park that my kids love to visit and catch crayfish from during the summer months.
26 - An orange.  I was struggling to find something to photograph this day and just wanted some color other than white or gray (like the weather).
27 - A cardinal hanging out in our neighbor's lilac bushes.  I got 5-6 feet away from him before he hopped to another branch.
28 - Forgot to take a photo until around 5:00 p.m. and I found this snowman ornament that didn't get put away with the Christmas decorations.
29 - Alex climbing Keira's big pile of snow that used to be a snowman.  This is SOOC except for slight cropping!  Yay!  I love it when I get it right in the camera!

Hooking up this week with ... 
NapTime MomTog Project 365

The Daily Wyatt

Hope everyone had a wonderful week!  Can't wait to come see what you did!


Alex climbing snowman
ISO 400, f5, 1/320s, custom white balance, no editing (SOOC!) except for slight cropping
Alex climbing on what used to be Keira's huge snowman.  Once the boys got near it, it quickly became just a big pile of snow.  The kids have a blast climbing it and jumping off.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Snowman ornament
ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/10s (propped my elbows on my legs as a "tripod"), 18-105mm lens at 35mm, white balance incandescent (I played around with the white balance and this one looked most natural even though we use the new "energy efficient" fluorescent light bulbs)  :)
I realized around 5:00 p.m. today that I hadn't taken my photo of the day yet.  So this is as good as it gets.  
I bought this little guy this year from a friend who does crafty stuff.  He's not too fancy, just a piece of painted wood, but I really like him.  He is hanging in my scrapbook room on one of the drawer knobs.  He didn't get put away with all the Christmas decorations.  I always seem to find things for a few weeks into January that we forgot to put away.  :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011


ISO 400, f5.6, 1/1600s, 18-105mm lens at 105mm, white balance set for cloudy because I couldn't get a custom white balance reading for some reason
Alex and I went for a walk today.  We went out to play in the snow and he asked if we could go for a walk.  He loves to walk down through our neighbor's woods.  Thankfully our neighbors don't mind.  So we tromped through the 8 inch deep snow for a while.  (That is a really good workout, by the way.)  On the way back to the house, we spotted this cardinal in our other neighbor's lilac bushes.  I was trying to quietly approach him which is hard when you have a 5 year old and a dog with you.  :)  But he wasn't going anywhere, so I was able to get about 5 or 6 feet from him before he moved to another branch.  This isn't a great photo because of all the branches in the way, but I was so excited to get this close.  I was really wishing I had my 55-200mm zoom lens on.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


ISO 800, f5.6, 1/60s, 18-105mm lens at 105mm, custom white balance (using a white posterboard)
Okay, so I'm running out of ideas for Project 365 already.  Outside is all snow covered and gray.  Very little to inspire me there.  Alex wouldn't let me take his picture even though it was Pajama and Pizza Party day at preschool day today and he was super cute in his jammies and slippers.  (They're on the letter P this week, in case you couldn't figure that out.)  :)  
So a colorful thing I found to photograph was this orange.  I added the Textured Blues texture from SKC Photography, just because.  I also decided to start including my camera settings in case anyone is interested and for my own information.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Creek in winter
I'm posting my daily photo a little early today.  Keira has double-header basketball games tonight, so we will be otherwise engaged for the evening.
This is a picture of the creek my kids play in during the summer at a local park.  They look under rocks and catch crayfish and explore for whatever they can find.  I don't remember ever seeing it almost frozen over, covered in snow.  Probably because we don't go to the park in the winter.  {sigh}  Looking forward to posting a pic of them playing in it this summer!

Monday, January 24, 2011


Our sweet Honeybuns. 
 I was knocking down icicles this afternoon and she kept stealing them and running away to eat them. I tried to get a picture of her eating one, but they didn't turn out like I'd hoped. She paused long enough for me to capture this shot. I just love her!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Nicholas chose this Steelers Rubik's cube as a prize at Kids 4 Truth on Wednesday. Once a month or so, the leaders set up a "store" where the kids can cash in the points they have earned. They earn points by memorizing Bible verses, attendance, etc. He is very cautious about mixing the cube up. I guess he's afraid he won't be able to get it back to normal.

Anyway, our Steelers are playing the Jets this evening and we are anxiously awaiting the start of the game.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Week 3 Summary

Wow!  It is hard to believe another week has passed already.  And I'm still going strong with my second year of Project 365.  As always, click on the individual links below if you want to find out more about each photo.

16 - My sad, neglected scrapbooking embellishments.  {sigh}
17 - Nick trying to earn some cash by cleaning the windows.
18 - Melting ice on my car's windshield.
19 - Some grassy/weedy stuff Alex and I saw on the way home from preschool on a miserable weather day.
20 - Orchids we bought because the tag says they are easy to care for and I needed some color in my life amidst all this white snow.
21 - A handsome cardinal in the oak tree outside my living room window.
22 - One of the butterflies in my daughter's room.

Hooking up with:

NapTime MomTog Project 365

The Daily Wyatt

Want to play along?  Just link up your week's worth of Project 365 photos!  Can't wait to see what everyone did this week!


One of the butterflies hanging in Keira's room.  She made these a few years ago from a mail-order craft kit.  They go perfectly in her butterfly-themed bedroom.

Friday, January 21, 2011


I was blessed with this handsome fellow this morning.  Right outside my living room window.  I saw something red out of the corner of my eye and hurried to get my camera.  I quickly changed my lens to my 55-200mm and got a few shots of him through the window.  (Thankfully we just cleaned the windows the other day).  :)  I'm so glad to have gotten this picture today.  Otherwise you would have to look at pictures of the 5-6 inches of snow we got overnight that cancelled school today.  :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I'm not convinced that I fully like my edit on this one, but I'm tired and wanted to get my pic uploaded today.  I used Paint the Moon's Vanilla pop action after adjusting the exposure, etc. in Adobe Raw.  I'm not knocking her action ... just not sure I like it on this photo.

The story about the orchid ... Doug and I went out to dinner last night.  Our kids go to church from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on Wednesday nights for Bible Quizzing, dinner, then Kids 4 Truth.  He happened to have yesterday off (between shifts), so we decided we would take advantage of the kid-free time.  We ate out then went to Lowe's to pick up a furnace filter.  Exciting, I know.  :)  While there, they had orchids for sale.  The tag on them says they are easy to care for, which is right up my alley, so I got one.  I needed a little color in my life since we are in the midst of all this colorless snow.  Surrounded by white.  And to hold me over until spring flowers start to bloom.  Today my new friend and I had a little photo session.  We'll see how long it takes me to kill it.  :)

Here's the SOOC version in case you are interested ...
 It is a bit gray even with a custom white balance setting.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Today was a pretty yucky day weather wise.  Rainy/snowy/icy stuff.  I wasn't feeling all that inspired.  So Alex and I stopped at a local reservoir on the way home from preschool to take pictures.  They turned out okay if you like looking at snow, snow, and more snow.  :)
But while there I snapped a couple pics of this grassy stuff and preferred it over the scenery shots.  I warmed it up a bit with Pioneer Woman's Sunshine effect and lowered opacity to 30%. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


When I finally woke up this morning (I slept in until about 9:30!), I came down to find my car's windshield was covered in ice.  By the time I got outside to take a photo of it, the sun had melted a lot of it.  This picture is SOOC.  I didn't want to mess with the cool bokeh effect I ended up with (and a little sun flare), so I just left it alone.  Yay!  I love it when fun stuff happens unexpectedly.  :)

Monday, January 17, 2011


The kids were home from school today for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  So during lunch Nick and I were looking through a gardening catalog, dreaming about what flowers we will plant once the spring thaw occurs.  He wants to plant some of his own but doesn't have enough money to buy them yet.  So this afternoon he was doing some household chores in order to earn some extra cash.  One of them was washing windows.  He agreed to 10 cents per window (he came up with that amount on his own, by the way).  Even though the microfiber cloth was too wet and left streaks all over the windows, I still appreciate his effort.  

Sunday, January 16, 2011


{sigh}  My sad, neglected scrapbooking embellishments ... brads, buttons, grommets, eyelets.  I took them out of their individual packages and poured them all into a bowl to place on my scrapbook room counter.  Maybe if I look at them every day, I will feel inspired to use them.  Either that or I'll spend the next few days sorting through them and putting them back into their containers.  I'm a little anal like that.  :) 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Week 2 Summary

Okay, just so you know ... I'm very new at Photoshop Elements.  I've played in it some.  I've recently learned how to edit photos in Adobe Camera Raw, which I love.  But I haven't played enough to really know what I'm doing.  Take this photo collage for example.  I know the pics aren't perfectly lined up, but I'm tired of messing with it.  It is good enough.  I searched and searched for a free template download that would make my life easier, but was unable to find one.  Anyone have a template they would like to share?  I'd be forever grateful!  

Anyway, my shots for the week ...
9.  Alex playing with his Lionel Polar Express train that he got for Christmas.  He wasn't happy about me taking his picture.  And the lighting in his room wasn't great.
10.  A rare self-portrait.  I was playing around with my new camera remote and my new mad photo editing skills.  :)
11.  Keira tubing on one of the new snow tubes we bought this week.  I couldn't get Alex's face to show up in my collage.  You can just see his feet.  But if you want to see it, you could always go to the original post.
12.  Our beautiful dog, Honey.  Or Honeybuns as we lovingly call her.
13.  Books I am reading or will be reading soon.
14.  Alex's Blokus art.  He absolutely loves this game, although he's never actually played the "game" ... just makes art like this with the pieces.  In fact, he's playing with it right now.
15.  My Steelers sweatshirt.  I'm donning it today since we'll be watching the game later.

So that was my week!  Can't wait to see yours!

NapTime MomTog Project 365


We will be watching the Pittsburgh Steelers play the Baltimore Ravens in their first playoff game of the season this afternoon.  Nick is so excited!  We'll see if he actually sits through the entire game.  :)

Friday, January 14, 2011


Blokus art by Alex.
We bought the kids this game for Christmas.  I'll be honest ... we have yet to play it.  But Alex really enjoys creating works of art with the pieces.  He was so proud of this one, he asked me to take a picture of it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


My friend, Laura @ Life Happens, wrote a post today about reading, which inspired this picture.  It contains the stack of books on my bookshelf that I am currently reading or that are on my list of books to read.  As you can see, there are quite a few.  In fact, many of them Laura loaned me.  I'm reading three books right now: Bringing Up Boys, The Power-Based Life, and Like Dandelion Dust.  I wish I had more hours in the day to read!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I was out shoveling the driveway (again!) today because of the 5 or 6 inches of snow we got overnight.  The kids (who had a snow day today) all came out with me, then dropped off one by one ... back into the house.  Too cold.  Too tired.  Too hungry.  
Except for Honey.  My always loyal dog.  She stayed with me until I made her go in too because she had snowballs in between her toes.  That can't be comfortable.
I got this picture of her before she went in though.  She's so pretty.  I know I'm biased.  :)
I used Paint the Moon's free Jubilee and Jubilee Tweak actions.  You can get them for free if you "like" Paint the Moon on Facebook.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


The kids put a hole in our old snow tube the other day.  It actually lasted longer than I thought it would - almost 2 years!  So Alex and I bought a couple more tubes today while we were out.  The kids have a 2-hour school delay tomorrow and if it keeps snowing like it is now, they will probably not have school at all, so I wanted them to have new tubes to ride on.  They went out today after school to try them out.  I think they like them!
I'm not sure if Alex is laughing with joy at Keira's ride or if he's crying because she wouldn't let him have his turn.  Either way, his expression is priceless.  :)

Monday, January 10, 2011


Here's something you don't see too often here ... a self-portrait.  :)
I bought a remote for my camera last month so I would have a better chance of actually appearing in more pictures.  I am always the one behind the camera.  So I broke it out today and tried it out while no one was home to interrupt me.  I plan to challenge myself this year to take more self-portraits.  

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Alex LOVES his new Polar Express train that he got for Christmas.  Originally I thought we'd only have it out at Christmastime, but Doug is allowing him to have it set up in his room for a while.  He plays with it often.  Although all he can really do is watch it go.
I went up this afternoon to get a couple photos of him playing, but he got tired of having his picture taken pretty quickly.  Hence the look on his face.  :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Week 1 Summary

Linking up with ...

Naptime Mom Tog for her Project 365 blog hop.  

Project 365 Button

Thanks for stopping by!  Please leave a comment to let me know you were here.  I look forward to checking out many other Project 365 blogs!

Here's a rundown of the above pics starting at top left:  
Holly bushes at my kids' school with a fresh coating of snow
My 3 wonderful children actually all looking at the camera and smiling at the same time!
My daughter enjoying some sun after a very rainy day the day previous
A sunrise - I was actually up early enough to see it!
The carousel horse and gold-dipped rose were Christmas gifts from my husband
The snow scene - we woke up to a few inches of snow on the ground and I wanted to capture this before any little feed (kids or dog) made their prints in it.  :)  My neighbor's barn is featured.
Last is a Marker challenge from Sheri's weekly blog challenge.  It didn't quite turn out the way I'd hoped.

If you wish to read more of the the stories behind each pic, you can click on each link above or just click on the header above.  You can also browse photos from 2010, since I also did a Project 365 last year. Whew!

If you wish to check out my other blog, where I share more photos and stories about my sometimes boring, sometimes interesting life, go to My Perspective.

Thanks for dropping in!


We got another inch or so of snow overnight, so after Alex's soccer practice this morning, we ventured up to the elementary school to photograph the holly bushes while they had fresh snow on them.  Alex is used to my detours in the name of photography.  :)

Above is my PSE6 edit.  I learned how to edit JPEG's in Adobe Camera RAW so that is where I adjusted the exposure, etc.  Then I used an Overlay layer at 20% opacity, just to see what it would do.  I also cropped slightly.

Below is SOOC.

I still have sooooo much to learn about photography and editing, but I am really enjoying the process.

Friday, January 7, 2011


We got a few inches of snow overnight, so I thought I'd take a photo before any little feet (dog or kids) went out and made their footprints in it.  :)  It was so pretty to wake up to ... and remarkably there was no school delay!
The building in the photo actually belongs to my neighbor.  There is only one direction you can look out our house and not see a house/building, but there you see a big wall of pine trees.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Linking up with Sheri's Life ... captured blog hop.  This week's theme is marker.  I tried to come up with something besides the obvious.  :)  These are "markers" that our local mall has placed out so in case the snow gets too deep, the plow trucks will know where the curbs are.  The photo didn't quite turn out like I had pictured in my brain.  But it was snowing hard and a little windy.  (Although I was glad for the snowy background instead of the muddy look.)  And I was trying to keep Alex from running across the parking lot and getting hit.  So it will have to do for now.  Hop on over to Sheri's place and play along, won't you?  

The Shades of Pink

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Another Christmas gift from my sweet husband.  I've been collecting carousel horses since before we were married (and I still never spell carousel right the first time! Thank goodness for spell checker!).  However the majority of my horses are neatly packed in their boxes because fragile items and rambunctious kids just don't mix together well.  Once we get the kitchen finished and will have some extra money to put towards non-essentials, I plan to get a display cabinet to put them all in.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I was up early enough to see the sun rise this morning.  I'll try not to let that happen too often.  :)

Monday, January 3, 2011


Doug got me a 24-karat gold-dipped rose for Christmas this year.  It is very beautiful.  And extremely fragile, so it will probably be spending some time in the box it came in until I have a place to display it without fear of one of the little people breaking it.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Keira enjoying some of the sunshine we had today.  It was a nice change from the rain we had yesterday.  Even though it is colder today.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I decided to title my posts differently for the new year.  Just to be different.  Because I can.  :)

I've been learning how to edit photos in Photoshop Elements 6 for the past couple weeks.  I usually just edit my photos in Picasa because it is quick and easy.  But I don't want to just take better photos, I want to edit better also.  So the move to PSE6 is necessary.  Or possibly to PSE9, if I decide to upgrade, which I haven't yet.

I'm actually taking an online class from Jessica Sprague called Good to Great Workflow.  I am loving this class!  It is self-paced, so I can work through it whenever convenient for me.  And I can pause it during my gazillion interruptions by my kids.  And just pick up where I left off.  I'm taking a ton of notes so hopefully I can retain some information in this already-clogged up brain of mine.  :)

Anyway, I wanted to show a photo I've been playing around with ... with my new-found knowledge.

The kids on Christmas Eve - SOOC

Edited in Picasa

Edited using the concepts I have learned so far in PSE6 - adjusting White Balance, Exposure, Color Curves, and Saturation.  I actually like the Picasa edit better.

Edited using the concepts I learned in Adobe Camera Raw (in PSE6) - Exposure, Recovery, Blacks, Fill Light, Clarity, Vibrance (as opposed to Saturation), and a little touch up work on Keira's face.

Now I'm still in the very beginning stages of this learning process.  But I'm so excited about learning more!  I'm going to go play some more now.