Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Resolutions

I know that creating a New Year's resolution is cliché, but if it makes me a slightly better person I am all for it! Making a list allows us to strip away our bad habits and develop new good ones. 

  1. One Photo A Day: I want to make photography my priority this year, because without practice I cannot improve myself. By forcing myself to take photos everyday I can develop habits that encourage the ability to be observant and use photo-editing tools.

  2. Exercise: the most cliché resolution of all, but it is a good one. Like many Americans I have a very sedentary lifestyle. I drive 30 minutes to work, sit for 9 hours straight, drive 30 minutes back home, and then sit for the rest of the night in front of my computer. I need to take some time out and be more ACTIVE for my health and well-being.  My goal? Exercise more. I am hoping an easy goal like this will make it easier for me to keep up with it, instead of dropping it a couple weeks later.

  3. Take a Break: I am naturally a hard working and overly stressed person, who finds it difficult to take breaks or slow down. Often times, I find that since my "to do list" isn't complete that I don't have the time or don't deserve giving myself a break. With more research I have read that taking breaks is essential to being a more productive being and happier as well. 

    Thursday, December 29, 2011

    Holiday Joy

    I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday. I know I did. My husband said it was a good idea to take a break this holiday, and NOT follow everyone around with a camera. I couldn't resist entirely, but I enjoyed myself that I could actually have a conversation with my family. Here are a few of my exploits over my little break.

    Take time to enjoy the season and your loved ones.

    Tuesday, December 27, 2011

    Engagement Season

    The Holiday season marks the beginning of engagement season. My sister-in-law and a child hood friend of mine just got engaged, and quickly following has been 3 additional engagements. I am sure there will be more in the next few weeks until Valentines. Weddings are often stressful and dramatic events, but there are some that provide some beautiful creative inspiration.

    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,

    Sunday, December 25, 2011

    Happy Holidays

    I hope everyone enjoys this holiday time and the end of the year, and can look back at what this year has been and can say it was awesome! I have had a lot of up and downs, but I am happy that I am where I am. I know that I will end up where I need to be...time to get started thinking about those shiny new resolutions.

    Friday, December 23, 2011

    Photography Inspiration: Diane Arbus

    A very well-known American photography for capturing images of "freaks". Arbus' images have always inspired me by their ability to break down barriers and break through comfort zones. Her images are often edgy or oddly discomforting. She managed to reject societies comfort with people who were considered unusual, she discomforts her viewers by the essence and subject matter of the photography, and often times she invaded these people's homes and taking multitudes of photos invading their own comfort level. I wish I had her ability to leave my discomforts behind and because an artist behind the camera lens. I am too shy to jump in and take the photo, but Diane Arbus was brave.

    "Freaks were born with their trauma. They've already passed their test in life. They are aristocrats" - Diane Arbus

    Wednesday, December 21, 2011

    Kitchen Adventure - Gingerbread Cookies

    This was my first time making gingerbread cookies, especially since I thought I did not like gingerbread. This was also my first time using Molasses: a by-product of sugar that is sweet, yet bitter. I was not a good blogger, and failed to take photos during the process. I found this recipe at Bakerella, and they have wonderful images demonstrating the process. This recipe was very easy to make with step-by-step instructions at the link above. Then you can decorate them any way you choose. 

    Cookies can be a great holiday gift, because they do not linger and it is easy to put them in a cute bag and take them to friends, neighbors, and family. I hope you share some cookies or candies this season.

    Monday, December 19, 2011

    Puppy Love

    My last dog died in 2008, and it did take time for me to be ready for a new pet. But it as been two years since I have felt the itch for a new dog. The desperation has only grown now that I have a house with yard. Dogs are what I think about most days, even though I know that currently my house is not ready to add this furry friend. Tools everywhere and the fence will bow down in a single Kansas wind. We often find neighborhood pets in our yard from the weak fence.

    Waiting is truly the hardest part, but I am hoping that by the time my birthday rolls around we might get the funds to build a fence and get a puppy. What breed should I get?

    Friday, December 16, 2011

    Exercising and Relaxing

    Work and home work are taking away from my time to relax creatively. I used to relish in my hobbies: paint, printing, design, website, photography, drawing, and even just having the time to take a walk! I have said this before but if you don't exercise your skills you loose them. You will have to build them up again, just like a muscle. I am lucky enough to have a career that allows me to be creative on a daily basis (for the most part). I still am anxiously awaiting for work and family events to settle down after the holiday and I make take some time to enjoy some personal creative pursuits.

    Here is what has been inspiring me lately at pinterest:

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    DIY Gift Tags

    I finished up most of my Christmas shopping this weekend, which means it is time for my favorite part of Christmas—wrapping presents! There is a very simple DIY activity that you can do to make unique tags for each of gifts. This project is almost free—you need only 3 items:

    1. Hole Punch: any hole punch is fine this one is from Paper Source and it is a special craft punch I had lying around.

    2. Tag Punch: you could use a scissors or an exacto blade to cut out tags, but I had this special tag cutter from the 200 tags I had to cut for my wedding.

    3. Old Christmas Cards: reuse those cards that you receive every year. These cards can now be reused in a unique and attractive way.

     Just use your punch or cutting tool to cut out any shape you would like. Then right your message on "interior side of the card". This project cost me nothing, and help me use old cards that I saved.

    Monday, December 12, 2011

    Inspired by William Eggleston

    I have been inspired by William Eggleston for years. His snap-shot-like photography captures his subjects in dramatic pose. All of his color photographs impress me with their brilliant color in their ordinariness. Normal people and ordinary places are given a new creepiness or edginess by pose, placement, and color. William Eggleston is my photographer inspiration for now. Do you have a favorite photographer.

    Friday, December 9, 2011

    Coke Goes White...and Then Back Again!

    I was so excited at Thanksgiving to see my Coca Cola can had a white-out, a nice break break from the typical red. It was so striking that I actually checked the went to to find out what is the point of this special can. It turns out I am enjoying it almost too late. Coca Cola just announced that because of the backlash from consumers.

    I will truly miss it. It makes Coca Cola feel more special, and it helps draw attention to the melting polar ice caps. I thought it was a smart choice by Coca Cola. A 3 color can has a beautiful simplicity that is very appropriate for the sparse modern style of today. Coca Cola backing down on these eco-friendly principles and going back to boring old red. Consumers fear of change has ruined this beautfiul can for me.

    So do you love it or hate? 

    Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Keeping in Shape

    No I am not talking about going to the gym, but practicing photography. Being busy is no excuse, and I neglected my photography skills.

    "You will never play really well, unless you practice" - Pride and Prejudice

    In school I would take photos everyday, but I have really neglected this artistic outlet. "If you don't use it, you will lose it." Okay, I guess I am full of clichés today, but its true. Perhaps my problem is I have too many hobbies, and too little time. Photography is essential to my job. From understanding equipment and light, taking photos, photo arrangement, and editing.

    Each photograph you take is a practice for your next one...and the next one. Improvement comes from inspiration, practice, and the software to editing the digital photos.

    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    Inspired by Gwen Stefani

    I have been a fan of Gwen Stefani since I pursued the racks of CDs at ShopKo. Return of Saturn featured Gwen Stefani with bright pink hair. I fell in love with her style first, and then the music. (I know, I know; so uncool!) Her styles have changed, but you always new it was true Gwen no matter the era. A stylish mom with edge. She inspires me in fashion and design.

    Monday, December 5, 2011

    My Starred List

    I am stilling gathering the pieces of my life back together after my move. Part of that life is the blogs that I read daily, that I don't have as much time for right now. I have been starring items that interest me and I may want to go and read later. Here are some of the blog posts that I am looking forward to reading further:

    Films of William James Murray: Fun Iconography
    Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake: What's not to love?
    The Perfect Paragraph: I love type.
    Tad Carpenter Holiday Cards: I am a big fan of his work and was a former student of his.
    Gingerbread Faces: So cute I could 'em!
    DIY Present Tags: Just the DIY project to get me in the holiday spirit.

    Our work in progress kitchen, but it is getting there!