Thursday, December 31, 2009


We have winners but first we have to talk about how I break rules and John follows them. As John says the speed limit is 55, if they wanted you to drive 58 the speed limit would be 58.....

I say, with a little help from a very good friend, who tried to explain this to John last night.... They are not rules they are guidelines.... so with that being said last night John and I drew the names for the 4 calendars for 20+ comments.

I drew the first two and let him draw the next two and here are the winners

1 - Steph
2 - DiApfelbeck
3 - Jules
4 - Patti

Send an e-mail to with your address and your calendars will be in your mailbox next week.
Four? Seriously is that all the calendars I'm going to give away.... it seems like such a small number for such a creative gift. I remembered the 4 calendars was just a guideline, it's my blog and my guidelines so I can break that rule if I want. Come on let's give away 4 more....

1 - Amanda
2 - Kitty
3 - LisaLu
4 - MJAS

Some may not be happy that I'm a rule breaker but I bet these 4 girls like it :) Send me an e-mail and your calendars will be in the mail next week also.

For those of you that didn't win but would still like a calendar I was asked if I would sell them. I have decided to, I am selling the calendars for $9, and if you are a commenter for this give away I will sell them to you for $7. Contact me at for details.

Congratulations to all the winners, I had a lot of fun doing this. Maybe for the new year I'll have to figure something else out to give away. That's my challenge for 2010.

Have a Happy New Year and we'll see you in Twenty Ten

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mad Rush to Get Home

So tonight I'm driving home from work and I realize that I'm about 30 minutes earlier than usual and it's still some-what light outside and it's foggy due to the snow falling. My A-D-D mind stops thinking about work, slippery roads, what's for supper..... and it wanders off back to when I took the photo of the woods during that foggy November morning. I wonder what the same photo would look like with snow... I mad dash for home, thrash in the house, purse, gloves, work stuff goes flying onto the cupboard. I rush to the camera, grab a few lens and fly right back out the door..... I hear behind me "Hi hun, how was your day.... oh really.... come again when you can stay longer". He understands and knows I'll be back. The daylight was coming to an end real soon, the moment was fading, I needed to be fast. This was the money shot.... I knew it in my mind I just needed to get there before it was to late.

Was I right?

One day left for the calendar give away. Go here if you haven't signed up yet. I love the response I have gotten and I can't wait to find out who the winners are. You all are very special to me and I appreciate the love and support you have given me for the last 364 days. If I can help anyone to take a better photo or to change the way you look at things I have been blessed. Tonight I shared with John the next photo class lesson and had to give him a great big ole' kiss on the cheek.... he's learning right along with my class (not that he wants to, I don't give him a choice). The next class the fun stuff starts..... no more technical stuff, let's take some photos we're proud of.

In case you don't remember the foggy November photo.... here it is November photo

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Keeping POTD for another year

Thank you to everyone for your kind comments about my blog. I really enjoy doing the POTD and would miss it if I gave it up. John and I talked about some of the things I have done to keep myself busy at night..... I can't sit and watch TV, if I do I fall asleep. I have done X-stitch, ceramics, paint on wood, jewelry, paint every wall and piece of furniture in the house 12hundred times.....scrap booking, and now blogging. Blogging keeps my walls and dining room table from becoming thicker with paint, if someone counted the layers of paint on our living room walls it would be embarrassing, it would be like counting the rings a tree truck... so let's give the POTD another try for 2010. I love doing it, I really enjoy sharing useless information with you.... :)

Your kind words really make my day. I do have to tell you I have one addition to my blogging time. John got surround sound for Christmas and since I watch TV (but not really.... shhhhh don't tell John cuz I tell him I pay attention) while blogging and now the speakers are all around us I get the crap scared out of me about 2-3 times a night. Last night a girl on CSI got a bag pulled over her head and I jumped like it was happening to me. The crazy sound makes for an interesting night but I can't imagine going back to just the TV speakers. Thanks kids we love it.

I will have to think of a different idea for Tuesdays, I am running out of Photo shop ideas and no time to learn the hard stuff every week. Here is Miss Elly and Miss Mally on Christmas Eve. I'm gonna say this is SOOC but it's really been cropped and stamped, I was going to give you only this photo

but I decided to play with it. Elly had a scratch on her face that I think everyone asked her what happened so I left it there on purpose. The outfit that Mallory is wearing I bought for Elly's first Christmas, I have tons of "film" photo of her in her scrapbook looking the exact same way. Grandma Hemmer said she never sees Mallory without something on her head, that's her signature look, it's just her.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Memories

I didn't put to many Christmas decorations out this year, my new motto is SIMPLIFY that means less and that works for me. I have totes and totes full of beautiful decorations so to pick the ones that I would display should have been a hard job for me but it wasn't. I put up the ones that have memories attached to them. These two decorations came from my Grandma Emmerich, after she died my mom got 11 items to give to each one of us kids, she laid them on one of the boys beds in the basement, one by one we got to go pick out what we wanted to remember her by. I remember this being a hard thing to do.... little did we know a few years later we would be doing the same thing with my own mothers things. I picked the red velvet deer and red brick house, I'm not sure why they were a set, but I keep them together.

Someone started to peel the velvet off the plastic around the deers horns so I cringe that someday with the curious little ones in the house I'll find my red velvet deer peeled like a banana. You can't blame them I remember doing it myself a few times..... it's fun.... don't even tell me you haven't peeled that velvet stuff, they don't make decorations like that anymore.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Calendar Give Away

It's that time of year again that I have to make a decision to keep my POTD or to reduce it to a POTW or POTM. It's been another successful year for me keeping the commitment of posting a photo every day for 365 days. I don't know how many days I missed but it's like 5. I seriously have my camera in my hand almost every day, there are some days that I have to complete 2-3 days in one session, but most of the time I have taken that photo that day.

This year I learned so much more in both taking photos and editing them. My favorite things to learn is how to take great photos SOOC. This photo was taken using my custom white balance that I learned for the class I am teaching. It's my most used function and makes me pee my pants every time I use it and it works. Excuse me while I go change my pants (just kidding)

So back to the answer of my question..... Do I continue? I just watched the movie Julie & Julia this weekend. I loved it but boy could I relate.... Julie committed to posting on her blog for 365 days and cooking everyday..... sometimes blogging gets in the way of "your normal life".

Let's not answer the question quite yet I still have 4 days of 2009 to think about it. Instead let's give away a few calendars. If you would like to win a calendar made by me with a POTD from that month leave me a comment before December 31st, 10AM Central time.

I will give away 2 calendars if I get 10 comments, 4 calendars with 20, 6 with 40...... you get the idea. Miss El can count by 2's now and she gets so mad at me when I tell her she doesn't know how to count and should go back to Kindergarten.

To get your name added more than once you can send your family, friends and even total strangers you may happen to see in the grocery store or walking down the street, chatting on facebook, send an e-mail to your entire address book..... get them to comment and not think you're a freak..... and if they mention that you sent them I will add your name again. The more people that comment the more chances you have to win. We all like winning, right?

This calendar is a hot item, it's the talk of the office, people from cubicles across the room come over to check out the new month. LOL :)

You do not have to sign up with a google account to comment just comment with anonymous and add your name or a code name to the comment, check back after the 31st to see if you won. I will post the winners and give you information to contact me.

Good luck!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to all

We always take a Christmas morning photo before going to Gayle's. It's usually outside while Adam and John fight me about having to be in the picture. This year it's just the two of us, and it's raining/sleeting/snowing so we settled for an indoor pic and John doesn't like to smile for photos so I did the serious look with him.

Merry Christmas, may your day be merry and bright.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The best gift ever

Miss Mallory doesn't look real happy with Garrett, it must be because he doesn't match the girls.... ya' all know El and Miss Mally are all about style.

but my socks match

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Last Minute Red

Our tree was all white and clear and has been for the last 3-4 years. Why did I decide to put red ornaments on it when I'm going to take it down in a couple of days? I'm not sure, but I did.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Photoshop Overload

I did a photoshop overload on my photo from yesterday. It speaks to me..... I'm not sure what it's saying but it speaks to me.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Let's talk light

I'm very tired of the dark mornings and dark nights. I need sunshine, today is the shortest day or the first day of winter. From here we start to get more light..... yeah

I'm thinking this cloud bank is full of SNOW.... if you're traveling for the holidays please be safe.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bokeh bubbles are opposite of stars on the tree

Bokeh are tiny light bubbles in a photo that make me crazy, I love them. If you pay attention to TV commercials or shows you will see bokeh bubbles often this time of year from the Christmas lights. You get bokeh when your f/stop number is low (stars when it's high). If you have accomplished the stars now try the bubbles. Here is how you can achieve them.

1) Set your camera to AV or A mode again
2) Change your f/stop to the lowest number it will go - this lens lets me go to 4.0
3) Then turn on you manual focus (read your manual)
4) Turn your flash off
5) Manually focus (out of focus) until you see bokeh bubbles
6) Take the photo

You can also leave the focus on automatic and focus on something that is about 5-6 feet in front of the tree. This is the bokeh bubbles you will see on tv.

Now put every button and dial back on your camera that you changed. Put everything back the way you are used to taking pictures because I don't want to get blamed for bad Christmas photos.

Here is my bokeh bubbles with a little texture added for..... I'm not sure..... just because I liked it.

Update on John - He is doing much better today, the adjustment this morning helped a lot and he is moving around much better today. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers, we appreciate them all very much.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Difficult Day

Today started out great. John and I slept in, had breakfast, talked about our day and then I left to finish our last minute shopping. I was in the first store and got a phone call from Adam.
Adam - What'ca buying me?
Me - Nothing, I'm done with you
Adam - Who are you buying for?
Me - Your girlfriend.... by the way does she have any hints for me?
Adam - I don't know..... anything
Me - Why did you call me?
Adam - Ohhhh I got a call from dad he needs help, he threw his back out in the garage
Me - OMG, is he okay?
Adam - I don't know I'm not there yet
Me - Where is he?, Can he walk?, Is he in the house?, Does he need to go to the emergency room?, Why aren't you there yet?, What was he doing?, Is it as bad as last time?
Adam - I'll call you when I get there
Me - I'm coming home
Adam - Don't come home yet just wait until I get there and I'll call you

I get a call about 5 minutes later and it's John.... I can't repeat that conversation because I don't remember much of it. All I knew is it was bad and he needed help..... now!! I called our nephew Mike who is only a mile away and had him go there to help if they needed it. Mike was with John the last time this happened so I'm sure he wasn't thrilled with my call to help him again. It's really kinda scary because there is nothing you can do and they are in so much pain.

I'm now heading back home and my phone rings again. It's John, he is lying on the floor and has pain killers in him and does not want to go to the doctor yet. He tells me to finish my shopping and then come home, he is fine and if I don't turn around I'll have to go back again before Thursday. Adam is there with him and Mike has done what he could, I turn around and shop in record time, sticking to my list.... that's a first.

As of tonight he is not doing very well, Ed and Jeannie brought him over 2 canes so he can walk around a little but the pain is quite bad. Last time this happened it took about 2 weeks for him to be mobile again. I called his doctor and he's concerned about him pinching off a nerve with the swelling so tomorrow I get to figure out how to get him dressed and in the truck for a 9AM appointment. As of right now the drugs are kicking in so he has been able to rest, let's hope the night goes fast. He's really quite colorful so I changed the photo to sepia to save your eyes. Trying to take off his bluejeans and put on these pa-jamma pants was quite the job, he can't sit and he can't lift his foot off the ground more than a half an inch.... I will be the first to admit, I am a great patient and a horrible nurse..... John is a horrible patient and a great nurse.

If you know the stories from last time this happened I can assure you that I will not leave him un-attended with the neighbors.... bloody marys, pain killers, muscle relaxers and 4-wheeling does not make for a happy wife and the back pain gets lots worse when all that wears off :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fun Stuff Today

I got fun stuff today..... I had many requests for my calendars like I gave away last year. This year was not as easy as I found it to be last year. Time being the major hold up and then design being the second. I finally got something done but not totally pleased with the results but at least I have them in time for Christmas gifts. After Christmas watch for the calendar give-away like last year. I'm not sure when it will be yet and how many I will have left..... hot item here girls :) Who knows I may find some time to design a new one before the give away.

I use my last years calendar at work and at home, I must admit that I'd be lost without it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Proofing the Nutcracker

I'm still proofing the Nutcracker photos, my heart lies on the group of girls in pink. Beautiful lighting and pure ballerina look.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Star Lights on my tree

Do you have star lights on your Christmas tree?

When you take a photo of your tree it looks like this.

Well mine looks like this.....

Wanna know how you can make your lights look like stars? Follow these directions.

1) Set you camera dial to AV or A mode
2) There will be a number on your screen or in your viewing area that you can change with a dial or arrow button. It will be a number like 2.0, 4.5, 15.0..... 22.0 Find out how to change that number (you may have to read your manual) This number is called your f stop or aperture.
3) Change that number to as high as it will go. Mine goes to 36 but I stopped at 22
4) Change your ISO to 200 (read your manual)
5) Change your white balance to AWB or Auto (read your manual)
6) Make sure your flash is OFF
7) Put your camera on a tripod or a study table or chair (you can have no movement)
8) Push down the shutter (take a picture) and do not move...... I repeat do not move, you cannot hold the camera or touch it in anyway
9) It may take several minutes for the camera to finish taking the picture, mine took at least 2 minutes.
10) Wa... la... you have stars on your tree.

Anybody from class reading this..... since I didn't give you homework try this and bring in your results for the next drawing.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Winter flower in the garden

When you don't get all your flowers cut down in the fall they make perfect winter photos.

Monday, December 14, 2009

20 minute assignment

I gave my students a 20 minute assignment and I thought it wasn't fair unless I did it as well so Sunday I decided to take the time to finish "the homework" so I could at least say that Yes I did it. The assignment is to take and object, and take pictures of the object for 20 minutes. Changing to all the different settings that we have learned so far and being as creative as you can. So secretly I decide that I won't do the 20 minutes, I'd have this done in 5..... well after 25 minutes I'm still taking pictures of my freshly filled wine rack.

Had my Internet been working for the last 3 days you would have seen this before class but since it hasn't been I can tell you that quite a few of the girls did the project and came up with some awesome photos of just "objects". Everyone who did the homework and brought in a sample for all of us to see went into a random drawing to win...... a bottle of wine.
Check Spelling
Here is my most creative shot out of about 50. Go ahead and give it a try you'll be amazed with what you can do with an object. I love how the ornaments lying on the table are spots of colors and the ones in the glass are clear. That's my new lens baby!! :) It you look really close in the ornaments that me standing on my tip toes on a chair, elbows out.... oh and my legs are in the wine bottle, on second thought maybe you shouldn't look that close.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

More editing

At one point the girls had to wait on stage while the lighting guy figured out the ques he needed. They were posed at one point and their toes, arms and legs all got tired so they relaxed but the stage was pitch black and we couldn't see them until now.....

don't you just love that girl in the middle with her foot sticking out of her fluffy dress, and then the girl on the top left with her arm stretched out like she collapsed. Gotta love pink fluff on the stage.

I gave the photo a mirrored image like the stage was made of glass..... love it but there is probably no way of printing this size of a photo without keeping it long and narrow. I'll have to search for different printing options to see what I can do.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


It's the time of year again for The Nutcracker Ballet Photos. I spent today taking photos for 3 1/2 hours and enjoyed every minute of it. After being there for my 3rd year in a row I can almost tell by the music when these girls are going to spin, jump, or stand still on their toes for 1.5 seconds so I can get their photo without motion blur. I still love the look of one ballerina with negative space to one side of her the best. Those girls, and guy, and very talented and have fun doing it, the show for me was just practice but it was awesome.

Here is a link to last years photo Here

Friday, December 11, 2009

Green Light

The older I get the more stuff I do that reminds me of my mother. My mom was a very smart lady but she did some hilarious stuff, I'm not sure if it was just carelessness or because her mind was going a 100mph and it took her actions a while to catch up. We would laugh at her for hours during the holidays and she would say "you darn kids". Can anyone still hear her saying that? There was one Christmas when she made 2 turkeys the day before Christmas so she didn't have the mess to deal with on Christmas morning. She roasted those turkeys all day....
I have a story about how mom used to carve the holiday birds (shhhhh don't let out her secret) she put on her yellow rubber gloves and ripped those birds to pieces, she did this when no one was around, I think I was about 20 before I knew it. No knife needed when you have rubber protected hands..... Paula Deen is going to use this trick some day I just know it. Paula kinda reminds me of my mother... okay maybe it's just the silver hair that is the resemblance.

The turkeys were done but mom had to go to church so she put them outside on the front steps so they could cool. When she got home both roaster were laying on the ground with not a speck of meat or bone to be found. The neighbors dogs from probably 6 miles away smelled those birds and came over for supper. Oh mom tried to cover this blunder up so we wouldn't know but the story leaked out. Every time one of us got there with our families we got to hear it again, the more kids that came the more the story grew into a hilarious event and the more out of control we became. Poor mom was trying to find anything in her freezer or cupboards to feed us and remember we are a family of 13 and at that time most of us were married with kids so there was lots and lots of people to feed. We had fish and venison for Christmas dinner with turkey gravy, the boys would bid on the chunks of turkey meat that they could find in the gravy. We still tell this story to the grandchildren at Christmas time, they love to hear it over and over again and I'm sure the story is still growing.

I do have another Christmas story that we love to tell..... John doesn't like it so much but I won't get into the gory details. It was about 1991 and John had to work on Christmas Eve and for some reason the group went to the bar after, not a good idea. He came home very happy and ready to take the girls snowmobiling, he started to help them get their coats on and suddenly got warm and a little sick. I of course am steaming mad and in the kitchen, Lynn comes in and says "Dad needs a bucket" your dad can get his own bucket..... ummmmm pretty sure Johns legs had to much to drink. {insert gory details here} The kids and I went to his family Christmas without him :) Christmas morning he was still on the couch from the night before and was still not feeling very well. We have our Christmas morning and get ready to go to mom and dad's for dinner, John does manage to get himself showered and dressed. We get there and dad stands in the doorway to the house with a shot of booze. "Can't come in until you drink a shot" "Cheers" I say, slam it down, turn to John and say "you can pick us up later"...... poor guy he stood outside for awhile long time until he finally realized dad wasn't letting him in without drinking one. I think that's the only drink he had that day. Then my mother torments him even more by coming over that night to see our tree.... more drinks!!!

Okay so back to why I had a Mom Moment. I leave work on Thursday night, it's dark and I'm on a mission that does not include going straight home like my normal everyday route. I get up to the stop lights, look both ways, nothings coming so I drive through the intersection...... I don't realize I just ran a red light until I'm about a mile away..... crap!! I go through that intersection everyday why in the world did I just do that. It must be my mother letting me know I'm just like her. I'm not sure why I do this stuff either but I'm gonna go with my mind moving at 100mph and having a gazillion things to do.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Photography Style + Art

I'm learning that while taking photos you can try to mimic as many photographers as you can possibly fit into your brain during the time you have to respond while clicking that shutter, but if you don't add your own style you won't be happy with what your shooting. John likes to watch me while taking photos, he says I take the photo (SLR cameras you still look through the view finder, not on the screen).... back the camera up to look at the LCD screen and smile a "that's it" grin or ruffle my eyebrows in a "that didn't work" face. He knows right away if I'm happy with the shot just by the look. You also have to get the unplanned shots and you have to be fast because those toddlers aren't going to do it again.

Another thing I like to add is drama.... mood.... art..... whatever you want to call it. I know some people don't understand or see the reason for this but I do, I've been a creative artistic person my whole life, some people are and some aren't. This photo screamed..... needs drama to me so I gave it a dark soft focus moody effect. It works for me but some may think it's too dark.

I'm not really a fan of selective coloring, however I tried to gently brush the color back into their cheeks and it adds a bit of glow to the dark mood.

Little "Z" was a bolt of lightning and if you weren't in the right place at the right time you missed the shot. She is a doll and she loves her new little brother.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Oh Baby

I had the privilege of taking pictures of a brand new baby tonight, he is the cutest little thing and gave me a run for my money. He was a cold little bugger and every time we got him comfortable and took the blanket off he cried. We finally got him feed and warm for a few photos and I must say the little cutie pie only needed a few, he already knows how to rock the camera.

Thank you "N" and "J" for letting me come into your home and capture this special time for you. You have a lovely home and family, here's a quick peek of my favorite two. I can't wait to show you the rest.

Oh and the delivery guy brought me a new lens today...... love, love, love it. Thank you everyone from PPC I will think of you all everytime I look through this lens. I didn't let that money burn a hole in my pocket did I? Such a warm buttery background.... ummmmm my eyes glazed over as soon as I pulled it out of the box and I haven't put it down yet.

Look at all that hair.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Grandpa's Grumpy Eyebrows

Miss Mallory has grumpy eyebrows and we say "put Grandpa's grumpy eyebrows back"..... John says "Grandpa Dave has grumpy eyebrows?"

I was doing my homework for next weeks class and since I have no one else here I get these eyebrows along with the "look" over his glasses. I'll take this look any day... it means he loves me!!

I know you're all dying to know how work went today. It was good, I wasn't nervous or totally lost. My latest nightmare was not even being able to find a pen to write with so I loaded my tote down with pens, post-it notes, markers, calendar, glasses, Special K bar, and a bottle of Mt Dew. (What if they didn't have a soda machine, I wouldn't make it) I told the HR gal about my dream so she looked in my desk drawer and sure enough.... no pens. I am a pen freak, the more pens the better and the pens that write really, really fine are the best.... oh and only black ink or red if you want attention to what your writing..... please no blue ink, it makes my skin crawl. I have lots to figure out in a short time but no doubt in my mind that I can do it. It's hard to go from knowing everything like the back of my hand to not even knowing where my hand is. About 8:30 my new boss came to get me for a meeting and brought me a pen with a big ole' smile..... I'm gonna like it here :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Miss Mally came over today and of course we had to take a few pictures of her in a Santa hat and with eyelashes like this it just screams the Christmas spirit.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Snow is here

Today we woke up to a snowfall that is staying, it's cold and starting to feel like winter. My morning at work was better than what I thought it would be, I did well, I can't wait to start the new phase of my career. This afternoon I wanted to take a macro photo of a snowflake.... well you have to catch one and keep it there until you take the photo... with the wind blowing the snowflakes were coming down sideways and keeping the snowflake on the paper didn't happen so I scooped up a pile and decided that would have to do for practice until a calmer snowy day.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tomorrow is my last day

I don't usually do what the norm is - so on my last day I can't just send the "keep in touch" internal e-mail so I got a little creative and made special laminated cards for my friends to post at their desks so they will never forget me.... I love my co-workers and will miss them terribly so hopefully they love me back and don't throw me in the garbage as soon as I walk out the door. :)

Here is my attempt to stay connect with those I will leave behind....

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Photoshop Tip

We had so much fun at photography class tonight, the subject was easy and so powerful it makes you wonder why you didn't know that before. I have struggled with indoor shots for over 2 years and if I had known it was this easy I would have taken the time to learn this a long time ago. As one of the girls said tonight "hey this is explained in my manual".

I may be teaching this class but I am learning so many new things along the way and having so much fun sharing it with others. Tonight we actually got to take lots of pictures and the sound of shutters opening and closing is music to my ears, I love that sound. I didn't know that the sound of a Nikon shutter is different than a Canon, but it is. I know I'm a freak.

Tonights tip was how to blend a photo into paper so I thought I would finish one to show when this might come in handy. Maybe my next classes will have to be Photoshop Fun.