Monday, December 29, 2008

Meet Matthew! and check out this video




So I must be the last person to ever see this video by Casting Crowns, Does Anybody Hear Her. But my nephew, only my favorite nephew in the entire world, finally sent me the link to his user page on godtube so I could see some darling pictures of his new little baby boy and he is just the cutest ever. I'll post some I snagged from his page in a moment (I can do that just because I'm his auntie and only his favorite photographer in the world, though I did not shoot these. I'm sure someone in the family did, like baby's mommy, Laurie!!!)
But I can't embed the video, try as I might to find an embed code, all I could find was the URL to youtube. But this video, stinking thing, made me cry! Boy, that could have been me years ago. That's exactly the way I felt - kind of invisible - especially around "church-going types" yet I was raised with all intents of going to church on Sundays, etc...but this video, wow, just awesome.
OK, so today is Monday, not Sunday, but that's my spiritual post for the week. Now for some darling pics.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

More bokeh!



this third image, the kids strung the lights up really fast and I just never fixed them. They had a quirky appeal to them hung irregular like that and my granddaughter enjoyed them none the less. Ummm, glad Christmas is over, but I do enjoy the imagery.



why not? I've just backed up tons of stuff off my computer, deleted lots of RAW files and scrapbook papers/elements and then when I saw I had posts on my bokeh shots, decided to toss up some more! I've spent the afternoon reading at my desk while my computer did all the hard work. It was a necessity being that I had so little space left.
I read a fantastic article on Hugh Jackman in C&I, on Australia. Awesome. I want to see that show! Especially after reading the interview. Fantastic piece!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas bokeh





Just some random shots I took a couple weeks ago. I don't know why, but wanted to play with bokeh. 10 years ago these shots would have been tossed. Now it seems everyone wants some bokeh in their life! I threw in the one of the cake with the silver garland behind it since it classifies as bokeh/holiday too. After the holidays I'm going to put together a blurb book of just my holiday images/non people that I've shot over the years. That should be a fun project.
I may try using them as textures if I take the right photo for the main image. Meanwhile, have a happy Saturday.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!





It's nearly noon here and the house is just barely stirring! Totally unlike our bunch. As my boys were growing up, they were up before daylight on Christmas Day. My youngest had the luck to be born on this glorious day, and it was always a double celebration.
This year, my oldest son, his wife and their two little ones are enjoying Christmas morning at their home, so we are dragging out the day. Kind of nice actually. I slept in!
Now this is the first year for the little grandkids (2 of them anyway) to actually recognize that something is going on. We moved our tree from the entry way into the living area in front of the fireplace last night after little Miss Mya went to bed. Being that she is all about the tree and more so, the lights, she will surely notice something's up when she comes out of her room and doesn't see the tree. It should be fun.
How many of you kept your spending under control this year? We did, another hard thing for me to do, and it still feels like I spent too much and didn't get enough for everyone! I'm still waiting on some photo books I made through blurb to show up. Estimated delivery day-- sometime next week! So we may have a New Year's present thing going on.
My husband bought me a fantastic bottle of San Angelo (Italy) wine that I plan to enjoy this afternoon with our Christmas meal. Which reminds me, better get started and get the ham in.
Good food, wonderful family, little ones delight, I love times like this! The only thing missing is my sister and her family who live in Florida.
Merry Christmas everyone.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The CAKE!





Here's photos of the cake. I bought the Southern Living Christmas at Home magazine (2008) and this recipe was in it. Meanwhile, just drool! Merry Christmas! The only thing I did different was the topping. I used a bag of milk chocolate chips (Ghirardelli) and 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream. About 40 seconds in the microwave, stirred really well and added 1 tablespoon coffee liquer, then drizzled it over it. Added toasted pecan pieces to the top and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. I have not tasted it yet, but look at it, how can it not be good?! It is after all, Southern Living tested! I found the recipe on the SL site and it credits original submitter at end of the recipe, as I have pasted it below.

Prep: 20 min.; Bake: 1 hr., 20 min.; Cool: 45 min.

Yield
Makes 12 servings

Ingredients
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 (16-oz.) can chocolate syrup
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Garnishes: Wintry-White Icing, strawberry slices
Preparation

1. Melt chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH for 30-second intervals until melted (about 1 1/2 minutes total). Stir in chocolate syrup until smooth.

2. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

3. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla and melted chocolate just until blended. Pour batter into a greased and floured 14-cup Bundt pan.

4. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and let cool 30 minutes or until completely cool. Garnish, if desired.

Jerry Mills, Birmingham, Alabama, Southern Living, DECEMBER 2007

In a snapshot spirit


You'd think, me being a PROfessional photographer and all that, that I could get a group shot of my three little ones, but ummm, their parents aren't any help whatsoever, love them BUT, this was the best I could do in one sitting. Now, give me each one alone, kick out their parents and maybe it would work. I used to kick parents out of my studio and then they'd be awed at the great shots...not so easy to do with my own kids! But anyway, I love these pictures and put them together in a 'card' for this year's scrapbook page. Now that's a laugh. I haven't scrapped in years.
So here's enjoying the start of what could prove a crazy week. I need to get little miss in a dress for a proper girlie photo. She loves dresses and she just got a new dolly this week (early present) that she absolutely loves. So you know that will be part of her photo.
On another note, Sunday was awesome. I darted down to the paper and helped out a co-worker so he wouldn't have such a long day. We had to get our annual "Letters to Santa" section together and I've done it for a few years, so it was easy for me to take on that project.
Then my husband took me over to the mall in Lawton and we had so much fun. Made a stop at the Dillard's perfume counter. I am pretty sure I know what I am getting! Some Donna Karan Cashmere Mist! Yummy! Then we ate at Garfield's, calamari appetizer and sandwiches, onion rings for me, cheese waffle fries for him. My gosh, I was almost stuffed after the calamari! Then the onion rings, JINORMOUS!
Came home and then I started making holiday desserts...from scratch no less -- chocolate fudge bundt cake, apricot cream cheese coffee pound cake, and some Ghirardelli's chunky candy -- white chocolate and chocolate melted/swirled together with toasted pecans on top and some sea salt. Oh yea! Photos tomorrow evening will be forthcoming! And the recipes!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Oooh...chocolate martini




I'm not a martini drinker. But after my son mentioned that he saw a Chocolate Martini on the list at Olive Garden, I decided to google and get a recipe. With list in hand, off to the package store I went. I reinvented the recipe as who the heck can afford a bottle of Godiva chocolate liquer! It was more than $20! It was so creamy and really didn't taste like I was drinking alcohol. I had two. I'm such a lightweight and ended up taking a nap not long after. Hah! I do have a slight headache, that's what vodka does to me. Oh while I was at the store, the clerk pointed out a huge bottle of Chocolate Vodka...wow! They sure know how to try and sucker a person in. But I was strong, didn't go for it. I do have my eye on a bottle of Reindeer Red (wine)..not sure if it's good or not. I might get it after some research...

So, here's my recipe:

1 1/2 shots chocolate liquer (Kamora) couldn't afford the Godiva!
1 1/2 shots creme de cacao
1/2 shot vodka - used Smirnoff's Vanilla..delish!
2 1/2 shots half-and-half

Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake and pour into a chilled cocktail glass.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gift ideas on etsy!

About now, you are probably thinking what am I going to buy 'Aunt Peanut' for Christmas...well, no fear...

etsy is of course, one of the best places to shop online! It's been awhile since I've done a post like this, but I'm in the mood tonight. So here goes!
I love this first idea. I'm into words, letters, numbers, game pieces and this stuff is stylish and in these days for the smart decorator. You can also get these coasters and tray separately at Carolina Cottage's shop at etsy.
http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=103016


Next is something just fun for the guy on your list or the car enthusiast.
http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6387518 I like this shop for all kinds of reasons. Love old cars, but this is just fun quirky. Hubcaps and old license plates made into clocks. I posted an Oklahoma plate here, but I was tempted to post the Colorado one! This is 8 Mile Creek Designs shop.



Next on my list tonight is Single Stone Studios. Very hip, very chic decals for your walls! I like this first one because it has a Christmas feel to it!
http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5988949



And this one is just so right.

Kid photo ideas on flickr!

Told you I'd be back *and I may return later today! Doing absolutely nothing much today....procrastinating....
But there's the link, copy and paste it to check out an image I found. This is a set up that anyone can do at home! And just plain cute. To fancy it up with 'snow'...look online at a scrapbooking store or free sometimes, a snow texture or overlay. Those who do digital scrapbooking can really fancy up such an image.
http://flickr.com/photos/25400184@N07/3079611821/

Great finds!


This is a 'double post'...I'll be back later today to post some really great ideas with links to fun photos if you still are looking for clever kid photos for your Christmas cards!
Friday I visited our local Goodwill store which I hadn't done in a long while. Well, it was definitely my day! I picked up a ton of fantastic items, mostly really cool second hand toys! All were about 99 cents, so that was even better. But the best thing I found was this robot for $3.99. I bought my boys robots when they were little along with some fantastically huge dinosaurs. Somehow though when we moved to Oklahoma, the entire bin of those items never made it. That was 11 years ago. Now my boys are grown with children of their own. The babies are still young enough that getting good used toys for Christmas won't matter. I'm fairly picky about what I get for them, but I made a good haul this time.
Back to the robot. So, I get it home and my youngest son starts digging around in the sack like a kid again, which was really enjoyable to watch. He finds the dinos and spies the robot. Next thing you know, this robot is walking, talking, swiveling, flashing lights. The darn thing works!!! I snapped a couple pictures with my tree in the background. I need to remove my backdrop from behind the tree and finish decorating. Every time I put shatterproof ornaments on it, my granddaughter, the busy little bee that she is, helps take them off and replaces them! Cute!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Red and Gold

Brewing up some Christmas
Wonderful Christmas colors! I also titled this one Brewing up Christmas!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Days of Christmas!

I just had a hard time posting again so soon after the last one! MM is just so cute! Can't wait to get my new grandson in his little red striped pants (Old Navy) with a stocking hat! Should have done that today=Sunday, but was trying to keep from being more sick. I'm still feeling icky, but must go to work today=Monday..blah...I never hardly sleep Sunday nights before work. It's horrible going to work so tired. Been this way for years!
Vintage Kitchen holiday
Anyway, here's the start of my Days of Christmas. These were shot at the Prairie House, a beautiful restored home in the historic district here. They hosted a candlelight tour this weekend and I did photos for it on the first day, but had to beg off day two because I felt horrible. Everything aches and I think I've pinched a nerve in my back.

The Prairie House is open for holiday tours and worth seeing. We did Santa photos and Santa wore white. I'm holding off posting those since it was a fundraiser and so those need to be purchased from the PH committee. I donated my services and was happy to do so. Every room had a tree in it! And I didn't even photograph them all!
Festive chandelier

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Christmas hats, silver ornaments and one cute baby!

From here on out, you will see a ton of Christmas images. It's December, so why not?! This, as most of my sessions with little MM go since she lives with us, was impromptu. When she came toddling in, in this new red outfit, with scarf and all, I knew it was time to shoot some photos! I created this top one with a lot of elements I have. I think I did pretty good considering I don't do much digital scrapbooking!
Silver ornament fun and a twinkle of snowflakes

And these images are priceless! It started when she picked up the ornament ball in her feet, center shot, with no prompting, then kept on! As for the hats, she does not like hats, so to get this many shots with some Christmas fashion for the head, whoohoo!
She loves her red suit!
Now, the trick is to get all three of my grandchildren in one session. Tricky, but I'm going to try!