Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Post Christmas Blues

For the past week I was trying to get a photo of my daughter. She wouldn't pull the hair out of her eye. She has an amazing black eye. Sledding accident. Her and her friend lost control of the sled and ran into a tree. Every one's fine, except the tree. It really was a shiner! One for the books I told her. But no... no good photo. And the look on her face told me to quit bugging her.Yesterday I mailed all my Christmas cards out! And this is huge for me. Usually people receive mine in January. One time they were so late, a friend called to thank me because usually so much is going on during the holidays, they never really get to enjoy the cards coming. Ha! So there is something good in procrastination!

I went through all the ones that I received and put those with photos in a third album specifically for this yearly tradition of sending holiday greetings. Yes, third album. I have kept every photo sent from friends and family since 1987. It is really fun to see the yearly changes. Hair styles, no hair styles, clothing, weight, marriage, kids, divorce... All documented in photos. Well, off to put stuff away. Another year done and over with. Scratch another notch in the bedpost of life.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Heads or Tails: "Rate"

This weeks "Heads or Tails" challenge is called; "Rate". My photo is showing how my kids "rate" me. In this photo you'll see how my son "rates" me--with a view finder. Up close and personal. There is nothing I can get past my kids. I am transparent. And hopefully when they're older, I'll be rated a 10.

Hilarious Outtakes-I Heart Faces

One very rainy day my kids decided to go out and play. No boots, no shoes. Our dog couldn't resist going too, however she got distracted by the rain drops. She stayed on the porch trying to eat the water. Silly dog. Silly kids.
I love my goldens, but trying to get them to stay out of my face is difficult. Here is Abbey. Champ got in the picture too... I thought it was funny, hope you do too!
Visit http://www.iheartfaces.blogspot.com/ for this weeks challenge of "Hilarious Outtakes". It's one of my favorite memes.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

SOOC-Sunday Dec. 27

JJ's first Christmas - too much for this little guy!
For more "Straight out of the Camera - Sunday" photos, visit: http://www.murrieta365.com/

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Watery Wednesday - Sam Squared

Watery Wednesday - Sam and his buddy, Sam, hit their GW surf spot. There were many dolphin swimming extremely close to them, however the photo didn't do it justice. Thinking my zoom lens has officially died on me. Doesn't focus well.... Off to the store! Happy Wednesday! Merry Christmas Eve-Eve. Visit http://waterywednesday.blogspot.com/ for some absolutely incredible water photos!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Heads or Tails" Tuesday

Here is my "Heads or Tails" entry for today. The theme is "Show and Tell." Every year I struggle with getting the family together for our holiday card, so I decided to mock one up. Being that I can't ever be too serious, this is what I came up with. I used "publisher" and cropped each photo down to what I wanted to use. Six different photos were used to create this. Each layered on top of the base photo which is the van. Funny thing is that I didn't have a good arm to use, so I used an arm off of a photo of our cousin. All three arms are the same, just rotated and flipped. Gotta hand it to her for having a great arm!
My youngest daughter is NOT happy at all about me sending this out to our friends and family. Guess she won't appreciate it being on the web either! Sense of humor? NOT.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and God Bless!
For more Heads or Tails visit: http://headsortailshome.blogspot.com/

Monday, December 21, 2009

Straight Out Of the Camera - Sunday

These are "straight out of the camera".. I went down to the beach to take some sunset photos. It was a muddy day; marine layer and smog hanging over Catalina. Usually that makes for a nice colorful sunset, but the marine layer was too thick. I did however meet a man who is the photographer for the Dodgers and Angels Baseball teams. Wow! What a great job that would be!

Camera Critters: Abbey

Abbey gazing into space, wondering if Santa is going to bring her more doggy cookies.
Wishing everyone and their critters a happy holiday!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Skywatch Friday

HB: Edwards Hill, overlooking HB wetlands.
For more Skywatch photos, visit http://skyley.blogspot.com/

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Treat Bags: "The How To's"

With Christmas next week I thought I'd give an idea on a cute treat bag for your kids to take to their friends at school -- or a neighbor or two. I use "Publisher." The first photo is the front of the bag and the second photo is the back. The last photo shows the pieces in publisher that make the printed portion of the "label". Instructions begin at the 3rd photo.
Step 1: Begin by opening up Publisher. Go to full page. Your margins for the label will be 4 1/2 x 6 1/2. Insert text box for back saying. I put a Bible verse there. You can put anything you want... maybe a family greeting. You will flip it vertically eventually.
Step 2: Using side tool, add a rectangle. The size will be 2 1/4 x 6 1/2. Highlighting the rectangle, go up to "Line/Border style", pull box down and click on "More lines". Click on "Border Art" and find the checkered pattern. Click on the checkered pattern and also change the weight to be 13. Next find the color that you want. I chose a khaki green.
Step 3: Make another two rectangle boxes. This time, both will have a fill color. I used the same khaki green. The first rectangle will be the same size as the checkerboard rectangle. Use your tool to remove the exterior line and add fill. In the fill section go to "fill effects", make it where it shades horizontally. I place the lighter color closest to the check. Do the same with the second box, however, this box's dimensions are 1 1/4 x 6 1/2. Using the same technique and color place this filled in box inside the checkerboard rectangle. Highlight the box and use your "free rotate" to angle it. Next use the "Arrange" tool bar and place the filled rectangles in the back.
Step 4: Rotate your saying or flipping it vertically and place it at the very top of your box.
Step 5: Make another text box for your wording "To" and "From". Place those in the checkerboard box.
Step 6: Next, Using "Insert" tool box, click on "Picture" then "From Clip Art". In the Clip art section, plug in the wording "Merry Christmas" and scroll down to find the Santa. Double click on the Santa and it will automatically open up. Fit to scale with in your checkerboard. If it is not arranged properly, use the "Arrange" in the tool bar and click on "bring to front".
Step 7: I selected "all" and clicked on the "group objects" symbol to keep everything together. (Note: the angled filled box will hang off the sides, however these will be cropped off when you cut your labels out.) Then I copied and pasted one more set. Now you have two on a page. Print using satin finish photo paper and cut to size. Fold in half and staple or use double sided adhesive over your snack sized bags filled with candy.
Finished folded size of the label is 2 1/4 x 6 1/2.
Happy Printing!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dec. 16, 2009: "Toys" (Games, Puzzles, etc.)

Thursday Challenge is "Toys" - But being that it included "games", I decided to add one of my favorite shots of my daughter's field hockey team's game. This is not a sport for sissies. Take a look not only where the shot is going (knee), but where the stick will hit (arm), which luckily neither were hurt badly. My daughter has taken it in the ankle bone, the neck and jaw, and this last month two in one week took it in the head. One girl with 6 stitches and one with 40! I say, they look great in their skirts, but don't let the skirts fool you, they're tough!

On a "softer" note:

Every extended vacation we always set up a 1500+ puzzle on a table. It becomes the table magnet and challenge for everyone. I have always loved puzzles and I am finding more adults do than kids. My kids get too bored. Their favorite game is "spoons." A faster game and makes them laugh so hard it becomes contagious. What is your favorite game or toy? To see more check out Thursday Challenge, http://www.spunwithtears.com/thursday.html

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Watery Wednesday - HB Pier

These birds wouldn't move. They were very content letting me approach them. The surf was amazing too this morning.

I went down to the pier last night just as the sun was setting and took some pics of the pier. The snowflakes are on display now and look really pretty at night. I like how the sun setting made the sky so blue. These are all untouched up photos - the blue was really that blue!

Monday, December 14, 2009

"Gone Fishin'"

Sorry to keep to the literal. Here my son is on his way to fish at our vacation spot - a small fishing town in Maine. Booth Bay, Maine. He hooked me into going with him.
Be sure to see other "Heads or Tails" photos @ headsortailshome.blogspot.com.

SOOC - December 13, 2009

This was taken at the Huntington Library in Pasadena. Literally, "Straight out of the Camera". I love the orange and green against the dark sky. We only had 45 minutes to get through the Japanese Gardens as the grounds were closing. I love the Huntington Library. If you're ever in the area, go to the Tea House. It is the best ever!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

"Pets Only" - Dec. 14, 2009

I Heart Faces: "Pets Only" - This is Abbey. My Dog. My sidekick.

Friday, December 11, 2009

SkyWatch & Photo Friday: "Winter"

Southern California doesn't have the true four seasons. This is our "Winter". Most of the time we have sunny blue skies, but this week, rain was in the forecast!
Be sure to check out other great photos at SkyWatch Friday and Photo Friday!

Monday, December 7, 2009

"Sweet Dreams" - Dec. 7, 2009

This weeks "I heart faces" challenge is called: "Sweet Dreams". I scanned this one in and made some antique adjustments. It was one of my favorites from 12 years ago. My kids used to fall asleep in their high chairs all the time. They loved being in the midst of all the action, which was the kitchen. In this photo, you can see that I left her in until she let me know she was done! Oh I miss those days--

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Continuation of "Santa is Coming" - Adding Hats

Here I have added hats to two of the joyful children. This is done the same way as step 1 shown below. I copied and pasted the hat that was in a photograph to make two hats and then rotated one more than the other. Don't they look happy? You can lighten or darken them to look different - also sizing them to fit the subjects head. It really is just like playing paper dolls!

Santa Is Coming... Are U Naughty or Nice?

We went shopping for our Christmas tree last night and I must say, as our kids get older and more settled into the teen years, their willingness to pose for photos is bordering on 'useless'. So I ask, "Santa is Coming... Naughty or Nice?"

Step 1: Choose your photos. Crop out most of the background and then edit the wrap points. Try to keep the new border as close to the subject as possible. I work in Publisher. (not for long though!) It's not great, but doable. Whatever program you have, the techniques will still apply.

Here are my cropped photos. My new subjects.... Some naughty.... Some nice. And remember, they don't have to be perfect. The imperfections add "style"!

Step 2: Write your text.

Step 3: Assemble onto your background photo. I took a close up shot. The larger the background, the more your smaller subjects will stand out. I liked this one because the gold on the side. Arrange the photos as you like, layering them either front, back, etc. Place the text onto the photo.

Step 4: Group them as one unit and save as a photo and there you have it! Your final photo with everyone together. And they didn't even have to stand next to each other! 'Cuz ya know... they don't want to have to touch each other. Happy Cropping!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Photo Friday - December 4, 2009

Photo Friday: Dec. 4, 2009 - "Homemade" is the theme. These kids made homemade Maui-Sand condos. --MauiSands, Maui, Hawaii