Wednesday, December 29, 2010

three + three

Three things that are dragging me down this morning:
1.Watery coffee
2. The garage runneth over with trash.  Seriously, there is so much cardboard out there (I've missed the recycling a few times) that you could build a life-sized cardboard village.  You have to flatten and tie into lovely twined bundles for the recycling guys to toss it in the truck, and even then, they are fickle.  It's such a pet peeve of mine, but refusing to participate has gotten me nowhere.
3. There's a mouse in our house.  Yuck.

Three jolly good things:
1.  No homework! Again!
2.  The-biggest-Christmas-tree-I-have-ever-had is still in our dining room.  It will move to the tope column soon, but for now, it's still jolly good.
3. Christmas day is over, but the Christmas holiday continues.  My favorite part.
4. My kindle.  I have entered the 21st century, and you, know, I'm digging it.
5. My D is for DiMassimo book arrived!  I made a 2010 book with an ABC theme for our family this year.  It came today and I love it.  I guess I'll post pictures of it later, since I can't link to the layout.

Here's a few of my little nephew Luca and his lovely parents.  They wanted a family picture.  Fooling around with some PS actions, which can get a little crazy, but post processing can be a jolly good thing too.  

Look at that, more jolly than crabby.  I'll end there.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

my eyes are blurry

I really think I need glasses. The eye doctor says not yet, but I don't believe him.  I couldn't read a lipstick cap in Sephora today.

I get so overwhelmed by Christmas, no matter how hard I try. But wow, Christmas good is really good. It made my day to watch the two older guys who direct the carpool traffic amass little gift piles on the sidewalk as the kids and drivers opened the windows to hand them little treats.

Instead of scurrying around like a good little Christmas doobie on Sunday, I joined the boys for a hike to treasure island.  It's a tiny pennisula actually, accessible by a path behind some giant McMansions and old school mansions on the sound.  We always talk about taking a picnic there in summer, but hasn't happened.  We should call it Tick Island, because those are the year-round residents.

Now, time to put off for today what I could put off until tomorrow.

 Doesn't that wood pile inspire you?  Or at least make you feel prepared?

 There's a grove of gorgeous, tall bamboo along the way.

 That golden grass is marsh grass. you can't walk on it without knee-high boots, low tide and a knowledge of how to escape from quick sand.

Little cabin in the woods. Seriously, it's this doll house in the way back of someone's property.  I think they use it for storage, but I just love it.   I would love to fix it up for a studio, a little guest cottage or love shack for teens (just checking to see if anyone reads this far).

Ho Ho Ho.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

this little cupcake

Many years ago, I dated a political consultant who worked for the state senate of Pennsylvania. He once told me about a state senator who walked into the room, spied a lovely young woman toiling away at her desk, eyed her lecherously and boomed, "does this little cupcake work for me?"

So Senator I-forget-your-name, here's a little cupcake.

9X12 acrylic

Friday, December 3, 2010

Put the chill back in Christmas

Seriously.  Let's tread lightly this year.  Simple gifts, easy advent. No baking, unless I'm really inspired. Wrap along the way, in the store if possible. 

My mom came home with us for a few days after Thanksgiving.  I loved having her here.  Helping with absolutely everything.  We put lights on the trees outside, took the decorations down from the attic, moved some tables around that have been bothering me, watched the bigs while I took the little to the pediatrician,  just generally being the perfect partner.  She's now in Delaware, en route to Florida for the winter.  With the exception of Jack, we all miss her already.

I still don't have a Christmas card photo yet and now we're flush up against super express rush charges.  That will take the chill out of Christmas.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

those pilgrims had more than cool hats

They were also good at inventing holidays.  No presents -- save a hostess gift -- and no huge commercial surge to bring on the gimmies, and I'm in.  I think Easter comes in at a close second, and we'll have to thank the pagans and the Christians for that one.

We went to my brother's new house for two days, including a wonderful/stressful mini-high-school reunion.  And, I annoyed everyone by taking their picture as if I were a pap stalking a starlet in rehab.

Hope yours was just as wonderful.

And now, see the twinkling lights ahead?  It's that freight train we call Christmas.  Look out.

Monday, November 22, 2010

the traveling nerd glasses

Nancy Marino.  95 years old with her grandson Mark.

 Angelo Marino.  99 years young.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

what I'm getting from my class

I'm taking a digital photo class at the ICP in NYC.  (which in itself raises my spirits so high).  Oh, I even had a midterm last week.  I asked my kids to sign it so I could bring it back to the teacher this week.  They sort of half believed me as they scrawled their cute signatures across the bottom.  (fyi -- I got a 19/20 with points off for my ISO definition.  Ha!  I was robbed). 

Anyway, one thing I'm getting better at is haivng an idea in my head and then actually realizing it.  Sounds small, but it's big to me.  The more I understand my camera and how to use it, the more it becomes an extension of me.

Anyway, inspired by a picture on flickr, I took these yesterday.  Fooling around with some PS actions too, though I think it's so easy to go overboard.  But, it's only pixels.  And not for my exam.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

one thing about a big age gap

It's not always easy having two kids 6-1/2 years old than the third.  But, as with everything, there are silver linings.  Today I am grateful that we can still spend much of our Saturday traveling as a pack.  We can all go to the cubmobile races and to lunch in our one car, on our one schedule.   Sometimes it works.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

In which I groan when I should be grateful

As a stay-at-home mom with two kids in school all day, and one preschooler at school in 2-1/2 hour chunks, I find it's very hard to get anything accomplished.  I just have small chunks of time until I'm required to pick someone up or drop them off.  Even when I do have time, I feel like I have to convince the preschooler to please just get in the car or lug the whole gang with me to Target and then spend time the same amount of time convincing them to leave as I did to come with me.  The older two are just on the brink of staying home alone, which I do think will make small trips much easier, and of course, they are generally super cooperative, so I really shouldn't groan.  And really, what is so pressing that I just HAVE to do?  That's what I can't really answer.

Of course, this too shall pass and I will be alone with scads of time some day, wishing for my little companions. And truly, I think I have ADD anyway. But sometimes, it's kind of suffocating.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The shoot

P.R. shoot for the fine founders of Offlining.  They needed press images and wanted a shot of the two of them among turkeys.  I could think of a lot of people who would have worked well as turkeys, but we just went with the generic.

What was good: the diffused light inside the turkey shelter, the weather (not too cold), my helpers (Max & Alex pulled the feeders away and carted around my stuff), the willing, cheerful and attractive models (especially the man on the right) and my moral support, second set of eyes and shaky leg holder (thank you Tara!).  

What was not: I should have listened more closely to that second set of eyes and centered the guys in the doorway more (that last picture bugs me).
I wish I had brought a bench or stools for the guys to sit among the turkeys
A shot list would have been helpful with poses and places.
Getting there before my clients would have been nice to scout a little more and plot my pics.
Next time, I will not be such a chicken, and do less on AUTO (gasp) but I was afraid that I would screw something up.  I should trust myself and just take a deep breath.
Slow down.

It was fun though.  And scary.  Was it the hokey pokey or my Yogi tea who said it best:  "that's what it's all about."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Location Scouting: shooting turkeys

 Did you know that 80% of the turkeys we eat are white?  It's hard to find those reddish brown ones that everyone makes for their Thanksgiving hand turkeys.  I'm learning all of this as I'm location scouting for my next shoot. Mark and his p.r. partner Eric have launched a new movement:  offlining.  They are encouraging people to turn off their electronic devices once in a while and be fully present.
 They've scheduled their next p.r. blitz for Thanksgiving and need a picture of themselves among the turkeys to accompany their press.  Guess who's the photographer?  At first, I declined feeling way to hobbyist, but I don't think they had another photog who would do it on such short notice and so cheaply (um, pay for my babysitter).
The farm with the gorgeous heirloom reds won't let us shoot without paying a substantial big commercial shoot fee, so I found this lovely small family farm, Hemlock Hill Farm, willing to let the guys enter the pen with the turkeys.  I'm kind of scared, since I'm slightly bird phobic, and I am nervous that the shots won't be what they want.  I have batteries charging now and am plowing through the internet for inspiration photos, googling things like "man turkey" and "holding turkeys farm."  I may keep one of my boys home from school in the morning to assist -- I might need someone to hold a reflector. Not sure if the husband will go for this, and it does take my image as a professional down a notch, but perhaps I could chalk it up to some kind of educational experience????

Wouldn't you love to live on a farm?  In theory, at least?  Kind of?  Really, I could never handle the work actually, but I could handle the view.