Saturday, January 31, 2009

3 Days of Adventure

Here are my Project 365 pictures for the past few days...enjoy!

THURSDAY, 1/29/2009

This is not an easy time for most families out there. Financial pressures are at an all time high & every time I see the news, it's seemingly getting darker & bleaker by the minute.

I've had more down days lately than usual, so it was very theraputic to get some good shots of what is most important to family. Here is a rare shot of Arthur...he's very camera shy. I love his interaction with the girls. They just love daddy!

FRIDAY, 1/30/2009

This is Jordan - a potential future son-in-law! Actually he's my good friend's (Lisa) son. He came home with from today's big adventure at the park so Lisa could take care of some business.
He's always well behaved for me & plays well with my girls. They just adore him and so do I.

Here he is intensely focused on Perle beads & putting them on the pegboard. My kids LOVE doing this & it keeps their hands busy.
Anyhow, I loved getting up close & seeing those lashes in all their glory. He is very photogenic & I never have a problem getting a good shot of him. =)

Thanks Jordan!

Sepia & adjusted highlights & shadows in Picasa, Quick Edge Burn in PS...I'm addicted to this action!!!

SATURDAY, 1/31/2009

Today we ventured with my parents to my cousins birthday/graduation party in West Covina. He double majored in international business & marketing! Way to go Leighton!
It was a beautiful day & my girls were gazing at the pool & listening to it summon them. I captured this shot of my Kyra girl & she's awfully cute when she's happy! =)
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Sewing Stuff: I'm continuing to do something everyday. Today I shortened the straps on the dresses they wore to the party (Kyra's pictured above...and Ava's is the same in green). I also completed the quilted top pieces to both wallets...did some quick chain stitching the other morning. It's time I picked up my Hawaiian quilt again...keep stitching away! I'm 3/4 done with the section I'm working on and then it's time to move to the BIG outside piece...yeah!
Exercise Stuff: I went for a great 2 mile walk at Central Park in Huntington Beach on Friday. That park ROCKS!!! It is dog & stroller friendly, great scenic route & challenging hills too! There is a playground & fitness gurus go there to teach classes! Anyhow, that was fun...we stopped along the way and did some of the trail exercises with the kids...AWESOME! I even did a bit of a pull-up...which is good for chicks! Later that night, I played softball & hit the ball well so that made me happy. It was a good time with my family there. Sorry Chris - we just gotta get on the SAME team already!! =)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Homecoming & Swing With Me

I'm making it quick tonight...gotta get some sleep!!! Catching up with my P365 are yesterday & today's.

This is my neighbor Cat & her daughter Emy. I caught this picture from across the street. Cat came home late from a meeting at work (she's a teacher) and was greeted curbside by her little girl. It was a precious moment & I actually saw them both light up before my eyes!
VintageQuick Edge Burn+ some of my own paintbrush work

I met up with my long time girlfriend and her son at the park today for some fun. She is such an incredible friend, I can't begin to tell you. When I leave her, I feel uplifted & stronger than before. She empowers me & brings me back to earth. With all the craziness going on in America, it is easy to feel like things are spiraling out of control. She keeps me grounded!
I love you Lisa (and you too Jordan)!

Always a fun time playing with Jordan...

The girls were giving each other butterfly kisses was so sweet to watch them be lovey dovey with each other!

They sat & read books together & even did their "booty-to-booty-yoga!" It was hilarious!

(darn shadow...oh-well, still a cool pic!)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Can't Label Me

Today started off with a short nature walk with the girls to once again try my hand at some macro shots. Here are a couple I took:

I call this one, "Leaf Me Alone!" Cheesy, I know!

I am really trying to set up my shots with better composition & trying new/interesting angles. I thought these flowers were delicate & beautiful.

Then we were off to the library for Storytime with Mrs. Campbell. Today's theme was dragons in honor of Chinese New Year (despite it being the year of the Ox) and there was a good turnout, which always makes for more friends & more fun!

Mrs. Campbell always does finger play, songs and other activities that require participation, in addtion to reading aloud. Today, Kyra made her way to the front row & made sure to join in on the fun! Ava is all the way in the's easier to sneak away, don't 'cha know?!

...and she snuck off alright! I liked the angle of this one (SOOC)

Finally, here's my P365 shot of the day, "Can't Label Me." She parked at the table with the name tags & made her mark! I love the focus in her face!

I also wanted to get some fun tub time pics of the girls. I bumped the shutter speed way up & got some cool water action shots! Yet, another picture of Ava!

I'm still sewing & I try to do something everyday...keep building the skills! I finished the top pieces for the 2 wallets I'm making & am working on making a few adjustments this time around. I thought a wrist strap would be nice (since I always seem to have my hands full), move the top pocket down a smidge & use a heavier interfacing to give it more structure.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Quite A Lady!

Another beautiful day...another nature walk and this time I recruited the neighborhood kids to help me find something to photograph. I wanted to practice using my macro lens, so flowers & bugs were my test subjects!

The first bug was stepped off we went to find something else! My Kyra girl spotted this ladybug just chillin' on her little leaf. I was so excited I jumped into the bushes (the kids were just looking at me like a crazy lady) and snapped away. It is NOT EASY to get a clear shot! I took many, pics & was thrilled to get some good ones.

Here's today's P365 shot of the day, "Quite A Lady."

PW - boost, quick edge burnTRA - Boutwell Magic Glasses


Here are my runner-ups that didn't make the cut...but I had to post!

My Ava girl! She loves these beads...and it keeps her little hands busy!

I really liked the composition of this picture, but the BUG came out blurry...

And this was inspired by some of the pics posted in my Project 365 flickr group...

The Spradley kids set up the trampoline in front of their basketball hoop so they could dunk. These pics were so FUN! Here's my favorite of the bunch...

On the sewing front, I finished up the last 2 pot holders, started 2 more quilted wallets & fixed 2 shirts that needed repair. I love the practical side of sewing. It's so handy! My goal is to make 10 wallets to list on ETSY, as well as some other things.

Since I've been a stay-at-home-mama & out of the workforce for over 3 years now, I'm definetly feeling pretty helpless with the finances. I am throwing around a bunch of ideas, from opening my ETSY store to teaching kickboxing again. This down economy has hit us really hard and I am more grateful for the simple neccesities than ever.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bundle of Fun!

This is Ava. She is my 17 month-old bundle of fun. I've noticed that I usually take more pics of my 3 year-old (she's a camera hog & being a little cutie doesn't hurt either) so I wanted to capture my little "Booga-Booga" in action. Here's my Project 365 pic for today:

I did a lot of playing around to try to salvage this shot--it is rather blurry.
PW: Quick Edge Burn
TRA2: Slice Like A Ninja (Sharpen)

I've been feeling pretty good physically and have been getting back to running. I started the day off with a little yoga to get the blood flowing & stretch out my sore muscles. We were expecting some possible rain today, so I wanted to go for a run before it started. I bundled up the girls, loaded up the double stroller & ran to the park. We had the whole playground to ourselves! Before long, Ava wandered to a nearby patch of flowers so I snapped a few shots, trying to get a good pic...this wasn't as clear as I'd hoped for, but what can you expect with her moving all over the place! =)

SOOC - this pic isn't edited...yet...but still wanted to share it with you!

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On the way home, we stopped at 7-11 for a little treat. Kyra picked gummy bears & I picked Fritos (hey, I work out to pork out)! It started to drizzle while we were inside so I ran, ran, ran home quick!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

This is how I started my day...
and it's SOOC (straight out of camera) - I loved how this turned out!
It finally rained today, marking the end of our summer-in-the-winter weather & plans to go outside for a nature walk. Instead, I busted out the "make-your-own sock puppets" kit from the pile of recent Christmas gifts & we got crafty!

At one point, Ava stood up...then Kyra & they both stared at the rain outside. I am trying new things & I got so many good shots today that I had a hard time choosing, but this captured the DAY the best. Plus my girls are in it!!! =) Here's my "Project 365" picture of the day.

Ava is laughing on demand now, so I used this opportunity to get some happy pics & sneak a peek at her new teeth...hehehe! She was very cooperative & here's what I captured...but haven't done much editing to...yet! I just love her little face here!

This is SOOC (straight out of camera) -
I tried to get some pics of the rain while cracking open the back door...but this was the best I could do with Ava doing her best to push her way out past me & outside!
I couldn't resist jumping outside with an umbrella to try shooting the raindrops...

My camera batteries died & I had to use my CELL PHONE to grab this shot:

I knew I was losing light fast & the sun was on it's way down...I rushed to get my partially charged rechargeable batteries & shoved them in my camera. Here's what I managed to get:

I worked on my remaining 2 pot holders and will probably finish them tomorrow...almost done. I've got my new fabric in the dryer, so I'll be ready for something new...what next?!

One of my goals is to get an Etsy shop going & sell some goodies. I need a good name & logo...something that would look good on a label! Contemporary yet edgy...modern and vintage feel...any ideas???

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bound & Tied

Here is today's Project 365 picture. I am really enjoying this challenge and posting to my flickr group. I am truly inspired by the talented!
I came upon this on our nature walk today. I was so excited when I saw it because I was armed with my camera, ready to shoot!I didn't do too much to this photo...I think the texture really captured me. I wanted to create some interest so I darkened the shadows & bumped up the highlights a touch (all in easy!).
Anyone else up for the 365 challenge???!!!
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Little Americans & Finished Pot Holder too!

Today was an amazing historical day! I was really excited to watch Barack Obama's inauguration & tuned in at 6 AM! Not by little Ava girl decided to wake up & wasn't persuaded to go back to sleep.

Anyhow, I was very moved & a bit emotional watching history unfold before my eyes. My girls were running around the house for the most part (they must've known I was preoccupied) and occasionally stopped to see what mommy what hoot'n & holler'n about. I swear, I felt pumped up, like when I'm watching a live football game or something! Woo-hoo! I snapped this pic before they continued romping about. This is my Project 365 pic for today...I wanted it to be Obama related!

In all my excitement, I managed to finish my pot holder. The binding was tricky & I had to rip it out on my first try. I don't know if I did it right, but I like how it turned out. After ripping out the stitches, I decided to play it safe & baste it before sewing on the machine. I have concluded that it is worth the extra time & effort to hand baste!

Yaaay - all finished!

Now to make the other 2 that are already cut & ready to be sewn. I wanted to make one first, before jumping into the other 2 in case I messed it up.

Finally, I took the girls for a walk with the limo (that's what I call my double's so loooong) around 4:30ish & I just loved the way the clouds looked. I even managed to catch a decent pic of some birds in flight. They were really far away, so I'm glad the pic actually turned out.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

New Project - Pot Holders

Since I finished my wallet, it was time to start a new project. Hubby suggested pot holders since he's the master chef around here & is always using dish towels. I got this cool canvas fabric at Wal-Mart for only $3/yard! I see a big tote bag or something of the sort in the near future...


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bedtime Stories

We love Dr. Seuss! I have a couple bookworms at home who devour his books. I really enjoy reading to the girls & started 'Alice In Wonderland' 2 days ago for Kyra. She has seen the movie a lot so I think that helps her follow the story. It's a fun, yet challenging read-aloud since Alice is quite fragmented!

Almost Done

Here's the progress on the quilted wallet I've been working on. It's almost done! I still need to close it up with a slipstitch & finish it off with a topstitch.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Stuff

Man oh man...I just LOVE going shopping at Jo-Ann's (or any crafty store). I went to pick up the fusible interfacing & a cool tool to add snaps for my quilted wallet. Picked those puppies up & headed for more thread (can never have enough) and browse the fabric isles.

I found these 3 and am brainstorming on what to DO with them now...creativity is brewing!
I was looking for something to catch my eye & really wanted something Asian inspired.

I am trying to take a picture everyday for the whole year...aka "Project 365." So far, so good but I haven't actually DONE anything with them. Here is today's picture with some Picasa & Photoshop love added! I could tweak out on this for hours & hours...

My nieces Chase & Cali, my daughters Kyra & Ava! I thought of monkeys at the zoo when I had them behind the bars!

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