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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Snapshots Update

I am in week 6 of my photography class, Snapshots of Good Life, and my head is swimming a bit from all the information:   exposure triangle, exposure compensation, focus, f-stops, depth of field, ISO, Aperture priority, Shutter priority, back lighting, indirect lighting, side lighting, reflectors, gray cards  . . .   I could go on and on.    But, to say I've been enjoying this class would be a gross understatement!  I have LOVED it!   Karen Russell is an amazing photographer and teacher and everything is so well organized.

There are still two weeks left and I know it will take months and years of practice to become adept at the techniques I've been learning, but even at this point, I can see my skills improving.

This morning, I needed a cooperative human subject to photograph for my latest assignment.  My friend, Gina's daughter, Megan offered to help out, so I brought her home with me after Souper Saturday deliveries.   She is so cute and was so patient with me as I changed settings, walked around her, turned her around and checked my screen.  Naturally, there were some photos that were not very good, but it seems like the percentage of those is becoming smaller, so that's good news!   Here are a few of my favorites (shot in my backyard and unedited---which is in itself a huge accomplishment):

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cooking School

You've probably heard me say it before (more than once, I imagine)----"It's not that I CAN'T cook, it's that I don't really like to cook.".  I love to bake, but cooking dinner on a regular basis for just me---not going to happen.   However, in the summer, all that changes.  I love to grill!   So last night ,with about an hour between appointments, I decided to grill a quick little pizza for supper.    All the ingredients were already in my refrigerator, so I loaded up a tray and headed outside.  After spraying the whole wheat tortilla, I placed it on the grill to brown, closed the cover and proceeded to water the herb garden.

Uh-oh.  You see, there lies my biggest mistake in cooking--I get busy doing something else.   It only took about 60 seconds before I smelled smoke and threw down the hose and yanked up the grill cover (I shouldn't have covered it anyway since that part only takes 2-3 minutes).

Yep, burned to a crisp.

After putting out the flames and letting it cool a minute, I put it where Emmi could reach it.   Frankly, even she was not sure she wanted it.

I started over--this time with much more success this time.

As you can see, Emmi's palate is not quite as discerning as my own.  She gobbled the whole thing up.    (and so did I)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pomp and Circumstance

Just like the rest of the country, we are in the throes of graduation ceremonies around here.  There are several invitations hanging on my fridge right now and I've attended two events in the past week.

This morning, I participated in the "Transition Program" for the Head Start I work with.   The festivities were held at a nearby church and the parents and grandparents were so excited.
I helped get everyone dressed in their caps and gowns and then went to be seated so that I could take a photos of them marching down the aisle.

I imagine that aisle must have looked mighty long to their four-year-old eyes!   More than one froze when their turn came to march. . .

. . . while a few walked down confidently to the crowd of parents.

The audience crowded around to get pictures and videos of the songs and chants they performed, some showing off knowledge of numbers and alphabet and others just for fun.   (this one was "5 Green Speckled Frogs")

While not everyone was happy about the program . . .

 . . . most were thrilled with the idea of being dressed up and celebrating!

In contrast, Thursday night I helped celebrate graduates of the Adult Renewal Academies around town.   This year, 25 people were recognized for receiving their GED certificates---

and 16 of those were from the Adult Learning Center at my church!!!!  

It was really amazing to hear their stories

and feel their pride.

As the speaker, Fire Chief Louis Johnson said, "These adults have made a conscious decision to rescue themselves."   What an awesome accomplishment!!!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


This afternoon was my first harvest from my little herb garden.  I just love rubbing the leaves of each herb between my fingers---everything smells so good!  I cut up the basil leaves and sprinkled them over some tomatoes for an afternoon snack.  Yum!

The peppers are so pretty, but I have to admit--I have absolutely no idea what to do with them!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bath Time

It's no secret to anyone that knows me, how much I love birds.  It really started when I was a little girl, but my love for feathered friends has gotten stronger over the years.   In fact, one of the things I love most about the landscaping I did in my front yard last year is the bird bath that sits outside my kitchen window.   It's always fun to watch sparrows and robins as they splash and fluff their feathers.   But, this week a new species visited the bird bath---I'm guessing it had nothing to do with looking for a bath and everything to do with eating a few seeds left behind.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


A few weeks ago, I received word that I'd won a giveaway that Sweet Paul was offering over on his blog. If you haven't already, you should check out his blog---he is a food and prop stylist and his blog is so clean and pretty. He shares recipes, new products and regular craft ideas. This giveaway, was for a beautiful dog collar from Rover Boutique. Now, after taking a look at Emmi this past week, it was clear that she was much too dirty to model this cute collar. Her face is obviously covered with oak tree pollen, but you should have seen her tail--a pollen, tangled mess!

She is due to be groomed, but in the meantime, a bath was definitely in order. (This was also a great time to try out my newly acquired focusing/exposure techniques).

Emmi doesn't especially enjoy her baths, but she does love wearing her new collar.

  gif webcam
gif webcam

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Vintage Vibe

I spent most of the day helping my friend, Vickie, of Young Blooms, get ready for a wedding. A mutual friend's oldest son got married this afternoon, so it was especially fun to be able to be a part of helping with the flowers. The wedding was held at Brown Chapel on Centenary campus, a beautiful location named after their relatives. Vickie had most of the arrangements ready when I arrived at her house this morning, so we loaded things up and headed to the chapel. The wedding had a bit of a vintage vibe and the color scheme was green, cream and gray. After we finished at the chapel, we went back to her house to wrap bouquets. Once again we loaded everything up and headed downtown to the Silver Lake Ballroom to get things ready for the reception. My job was to get the apple centerpieces assembled for the tables in the music room. The hardest part was the 100 trips back and forth to the kitchen to fill the small watering can with water to float tiny orchids around the apples. The arrangements in the buffet room were beautiful bouquets set upon tall pedestals in the center of each table. I didn't have time to get a photo of the tables, but here is a picture of them before in Vickie's shop. I arrived home with 12 minutes to change out of my jeans into wedding attire! I walked into the kitchen just as Veda and Gary drove into my driveway to pick me up. The wedding was a perfect reflection of Chris and Sarah's personalities. It was beautiful and elegant, yet fun at the same time. Chris is a music connoisseur (the classic LP variety), so the choice of ceremony music was unique and wonderful. The guest book was great, too---a bound set of LP envelopes with photos of the two of them in the center holes. I was able to snap an iPhone picture of one other fun element---the Groom's cake. Yep it really was layers of Southern Maid Donuts with ribbon tied around it. And believe me, it was a hit with the guests!
Sunday, May 6, 2012

Blame It On Pam

Valine came up this weekend for her annual birthday trip to Canton. Friday evening, we drove over to her Aunt Pam's house, who kindly shared her home with us that night. Pam and her daughter-in-law, Esther had spent the day at Canton and brought home some beautiful plants she'd purchased there. After showing them to us, and telling about the amazingly good prices, we were anxious to find some similar bargains to take home. Saturday morning, Pam fixed some yummy muffins for us. We prepared to leave, with the car already fairly full with furniture and treasures Valine was bringing home from Pam's house. We had a minor setback when Valine discovered her car keys were missing. She has one of those fancy-dancy cars that starts as long as the keys are in your pocket or purse. But the car wouldn't start. And after searching for quite a while, we decided the keys must have been left at the restaurant last night (since we'd ridden with Pam). Finally, however, she found them on the car seat in Pam's car! Hooray! We were off! We quickly browsed some of the booths close by our parking and then headed our carts outdoors to find the plants. The weather was wonderful, although pretty hot, ut, we soon found the plants. LOTS of them! One of the booths, in particular, had been styled soooo pretty! Even the butterflies were enjoying it! There were lots of people, but for some reason, things didn't seem as crowded as they sometimes so, so that was nice. We made a few small purchases here and there and enjoyed visiting and browsing. After stopping for a much-needed water and cherry-limeade break, we decided to head for home. Of course, that meant we had to do some very careful packing of our carts as we tried to carry back as many of our plant purchases as possible. I blame it on Pam---if she'd never shown us her beautiful plants, we might never have known the gardening deals awaiting us. :-) But, everything fit in the car and we headed back to Shreveport. What a fun day! Thanks, Pam. We had a great time!

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