Sunday, March 31, 2013

90 Egg Day

This Sunday was the culmination of our week's egg coloring project.  Our original plan was to hide the eggs in the woods but the weather did not cooperate.  With more rain, sleet and snow headed in the area we decided to return to the City.  We hid the eggs throughout the house and hopefully we found them all.

I'm beginning to get a real understanding of how the kiddo just wants to hang out with us. It's great when the activity is just as fun and it was fun for all of us. Lunch consisted of egg salad, of course.
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Saturday, March 30, 2013

89 warm enough

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Friday, March 29, 2013

88 out in the woods

It's been four months since I've been here. It is so very good to be back.

We had to shovel our way in but the weather was warm. The snow was piled high but woodpeckers flitted through the tree tops. The fire pit was full of ice but it soon melted. The geese greeted us from a distance. We found bunny and turkey tracks all over the property. The sun shone and the sound of dripping water added to the music of the wind in the leaves.

Ahhhh, the woods. It seems a bit easier to breathe out here.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ten Tips for a 365 Photo Project (and photo 87)

If you know anything about Deonne, you know that she's adventurous and living a dream - a dream of being on the road and living life defined by her ownself. She is full of admirable stuff, including great photography.

She asked me about tips for a 365 project and I jumped on this in order to better understand what it is that I am doing here.  Some of these tips undermine the whole purpose of a 365 project, but for me, the purpose is to develop a photography practice.  So I do it my way.

1. Make your own rules but don't be shy about breaking them. This is my second attempt at a 365 project, the last one was overwhelmed by the birth of my daughter. It was three years ago. Since then there has a surge of people attempting similar projects, some are themed, some are shared on flickr. I've stayed away from these mostly because I just jumped right in without thinking it through, but also because I wanted to make my own rules, something that fit into my schedule. For example, if you post to flickr groups, you reveal when it is that you have taken the photo. You cannot hide the fact that the photo may not have been taken on that given day.

My rule is to post at least one photo per day  (yes, I've broken this rule, too!), even if that photo was taken the day before or the day before that.  I  need to do this because so many unexpected factors foil my attempts to take one photo a day.  Take today for example, Lotus Bud and I had a great time at the park and actually did a photo shoot for another blog.  I came home to find none of my photos turned out!  Major bummer!  I need to get a new, but older version of a memory card so that this doesn't keep happening to me and my old camera.

2. Try a theme but don't get too wrapped up in it.  I've seen great projects where the idea is to take a photo of a child once a week.  Or to do only self-portraits. Also there are many 365 photo prompts to be found online.  This is definitely fun, but don't let it bog you down.  If you do this, limit how many you do in a week, so as to minimize frustration with the results and the project.  Or better yet, pick your own 4-5 themes and pursue them in any given week and throughout the year.  I'm gonna do that as soon as I can think of some good themes.

3. Think about ways to record your day.  I loved Cesar Kuriyama's one second a day project because it records something he did every day for a year.  His goal is to do 5 years of video clips.  I love this!  It compels me to find fun and interesting things to do with the Bud but also for myself.

4. Having a stellar photo day?  Don't be afraid to post them several days in a row.  This tip goes back to the first one where I make the rules.  Some of my days are full of great images, others are grey and dull.  While I don't shy from posting dull photos, I do want the space to record several great moments from one day.

5. Keep trying, again and again.  The biggest example here are my food photos.  I've had some pretty wonderful ones and some pretty awful ones.  Some of the awful ones I posted anyway because the food was just that good.  I'm one of those people who has the kind of luck to get something done brilliantly with just one attempt.  But then I go back to do it again and pretty much fail miserably every time.  I'm surrounded by really great food so I'm going to keep taking photos of really great food.

See plate of scallops above.  Photo taken Tuesday night.  Posted today, Thursday.  I devoured this plate of food and I really enjoyed my evening out with a woman who've I've admired for a while now.  I want to remember all of that night, hence the photo here on my blog days after the photo was actually taken.

6. If you following along on a group project, don't be daunted by any particular theme.  Interpret the theme in a way that works for you.  I see Kat doing this all the time.

7. If you miss a few days, just take a moment to catch up.  Post some photos, any photos, then forget about it and move forward.

8. Elevate the ordinary.  Deonne, I love seeing the photos of your trips, but I also would love to see photos of Sadie's insides - her private parts.  Elevated ordinary photos of mine: here, here, and here.

9.  Simplify the process. Carry camera at all times (mostly I carry, but sometimes I don't pull it out).  Lately, I've begun using Dave's camera phone - he always has his phone.  Now that I know my camera better, I do less post-processing stuff.  SOOC is the way of the road for me these days.  I need fast and quick ways to get the photos from my camera to my blog.

10. Print some of the photos!  Printing photos has changed this project for me on a grand scale.  I paste them into my journal (that I also use for meeting notes) and am constantly reminded of fun accomplishments in terms of the photography and the types of recorded activities.  I used to only re-view these photos once a year for our holiday gift album and I only wanted photos printed on matte paper from some reputable online source.  Now I log onto the local bulls-eye store and send photos for printing on cheap glossy paper, then pick them up when I shop or when I am running errands.

A lot of these tips overlap and refer back to the very first one - Make Your Own Rules.  I'm proud of myself for getting this far, nearly four months into the year.  Now that I've made it through the winter, I imagine photography getting even more fun with the warmer weather.

I think there are two ways for people to approach a 365 project.  The first is to engage in a creative community, support and cheer each other, be a part of the collective goodness.  The second is to develop a photography practice.  The two reasons don't exclude each other, but I do see a difference in them.  True that I don't get as many viewing nor commenting on my photos and this can be a bummer at times especially when I'm feel low and uninspired.  But when it comes down to it, I am doing this for myself and going back every month to look at the photos makes me feel happy about myself.

Which brings me to what I think is the best thing about a 365 photo have 365 eff-ing days to try and get it "right." It is a chance to try again and again.  No two images are going to be the same just like no two days are ever the same.

Somewhere in there, I'm sure, I will find my style, my voice, my art.
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86 colored eggs

We don't do many holidays and I can't remember if we've ever done anything for Easter except for maybe family dinner with the in-laws. But this was a great opportunity to do a colorful project with the Lotus Bud. Lots and lots of eggs need to be eaten next week.

The Big D came up with the idea to hide the eggs in the woods this weekend. What fun! Hopefully the rain will stay away.
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85 The University of MN is full of bull.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

84 - How to get motivated for a 365 project

Remember this? Well, now we've got these. It's too early for such large seedlings, I know, but that just means we might want to plant again.

I saw another great TED Talk last night and it gave me so much motivation and drive for the 365 photo project...recording each day, motivation to do something interesting every day, seeing progress. I might not know what I'm doing here, but I definitely know that I want to continue.

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Again, the sunlight.
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This time of year, it's pretty hard not be struck dumb by the brilliance of sunshine.
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79 tamale at Maya Cuisine

Although my photo doesn't reflect the pure deliciousness of the food at Maya Cuisine, I guarantee that the food is pretty amazing. But don't just take my word on it, read here first, then get yourself to Maya as soon as you can.
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Yet another bloom this plant that never bloomed in the first 5 years we've had it.
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Monday, March 18, 2013


Another great spring project for the toddler.
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Sunday, March 17, 2013

75 good snack

Andrea Scher's photo course Elevate the Ordinary was full of fun prompts and a community - a lot of which I used to fuel photo ideas for this 365 project. Now that the course is finished, I feel like I'm floating around like unwanted jetsam, hoping against hope not to sink but rather land upon some interesting shore.

So last night I thought why not a late night snack series? This would also allow me to share a bit about what we get in our fruit CSA. Dates, mini triscuits, and mild cheddar cheese. The dates were in our January delivery, getting a little tough in the refrigerator, but certainly not too tough for a treat.
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A vegetarian's kitchen is always full of good stuff.
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73 Hazel's

Breakfast meeting! I'm starting to feel like I am getting things done, moving forward into a good year.

Hazel's NE is quickly becoming a regular part of my week. It's within two blocks of my home, great coffee, great local artwork, good service and the good food (some ingredients from some local operations). If you live in the Twin Cities and you haven't been to Hazel's - you should go! If you are visiting from out of town - do put this on your list!
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71 - hoping for spring

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Iron Craft: Green

Iron Craft is about taking on challenges or putting the plans for a project in motion or setting aside time to do something simply for the sake of doing. It's not limited by strict adherence to craft-from-scratch. A store bought item can be embellished or re-purposed or deconstructed.  It seems all projects, so long as it is done within the designated time frame, are encouraged and cheered. This year I find myself looking at past success and trying again, in a different way.

spring flowers

happy feet

This challenge was green or "green" and so I combined the two.  I took Niobe's paintings and cut into them with butterfly stencils.  I put some green butterflies in the mix and I re-used her lovely artwork - stuff that's impossible to throw away but can no longer sit in piles throughout my house.

She chooses a different color muse each time.

I like playing with scissors and I know that Niobe likes sticking things on the walls.  I combined these two which led to a pleasant afternoon. See. Mama and daughter  can both be happy.  I need this reminder every once and a while.  I never would have found the right pattern for the butterflies without her.  That could only come from the mind of my child. The experience gave me an opportunity to put the "om" back in mom.

There used to be baby animals and penguins in her room.  Those have come down and been replaced by elements that represent the seasons: autumn leaves, winter snowflakes, spring flowers and now, summer butterflies. She's had more say in how her room is decorated even though the ideas come from me. I wanted to put these butterflies on the dining room windows but she insisted they fly in her room. I'm coming to see the real wonder of sharing life with a little girl.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

69 - 70 butterflies and bronchitis



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Sunday, March 10, 2013

68 weekend fire

Playing around with D's phone.
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Saturday, March 9, 2013

67 knitting little buds sweater

Getting there, almost done.

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

63 - 66

63 - Angry Bird - what's she got to be mad about, huh?

64 - mussels in NE beer.  

65 - a lovely breakfast morning at Victory 44

66 - the seasonal contrast: warming sun and melting icicle

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Sunday, March 3, 2013


It's official. I love my new $20 lens. I really got into it last night but the only thing to shoot was the lamp. It's one of those zoom/macro lenses. Not a true 1:1 macro, it's a 1:4. Doesn't matter because the number for the price was just right.

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Saturday, March 2, 2013


Project notes:

I bought a new lens yesterday for $20.  OK, so it's not exactly a new lens; it was used and cheap.  It is a film lens and today's photo was taken with it. I'm pleased with the quality of the photo, especially the color.  But it's heavy and I don't exactly know how to use it yet.  

I realized I was numbering these photos wrong.  Well, maybe not wrong exactly, just not in the way that reflected how many total photos I have taken since the beginning of the year.  So new numbering.  I just know I'm going to get confused with this but somehow in my mind it works.

Why is it that I'll take a ton of photos on any given day, like today, only to find that one, maybe two that are workable?  Yes, I know that's how photography happens, but still.  It's all mildly disappointing at the end of the day.  I had a few that I super excited about just because they were cute, but the focus was all wrong on every single one.  See...

Just behind the tiny snowman are raccoon prints.  This masked animal has been visiting us for several months now.  This winter the footprints have been left in the snow and preserved in some ice around the side of the house.  I came face-to-face with one at the end of September.  I wonder if it's the same one?
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Friday, March 1, 2013

60 - hello March

have you brought Spring with you?

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