Friday, January 29, 2010


...photographed as part of the Moments project

sometimes our family room looks like this ::

and then there's the rest of the time ::

i used to be someone who loved a neat, clean house (car, office, etc...) all the time.

now i'm someone who still craves an organized, picked up home, but also loves the mess that accompanies life, and has learned to be okay with, and even sometimes enjoy, the clutter that is inevitable with children. (i just enjoy the neat, clean, and quiet after they've gone to bed, and before they awake in the mornings).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

january one word photo...'s my photo for january's word :: create

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
Pablo Picasso

check out the other amazing create photos at the one word flickr group. february's one word is nurture - so many possibilities!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

photography explored... one of the items on my 101 in 1001 list is to take a photography class. and while i've had my upgraded camera, Nikon D80, for almost a year now, and browsed through the manual, i still don't feel like i have much of a grasp of all there is to know - ISO, shutter speed, apeture, f/stop, different lenses, speedlights, etc...

so i signed up for a class through the city Parks & Rec Department, and this past weekend took my first of 4 classes. and i'm so glad i did - while the class made me realize just how much i still need to learn about, it also made me feel like at least i have a basic knowledge of composition and photography just from using my camera so frequently, and being interested & exploring.

so along with my goal this year of getting our photo albums organized, and stories told, i'm adding photography to my list. they seem to go together well - the capturing of images, and the display/organization of them.

on my to-do list for photography:
- research online resources - so far, i've found shutter sisters, and clickin moms to be great sites
- participate in the One Word and It's the Moments projects to expand my creativity in photography
- learn more about the above mentioned technical terms (ISO, etc...), as well as different pieces of equipment, like speedlights, and different lenses
- be able to apply what i've learned to different photography situations (indoors, bright light, etc)
- download & become familiar with Adobe Lightroom
- read Understanding Exposure
- read "Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits"... she's probably one of my favorite photographers (other than my great-grandfather, of course). i love this photograph, taken of a migrant mother and her children during the Great Depression

i really like the quote that ended class today: "Photography is 1% talent, and 99% moving furniture"... as our instructor said - it's a hobby (like most others) that the more work you put into it, the better you get.

Monday, January 18, 2010

hope (and so much more) for haiti...

...since the earthquake devestated haiti a week ago, my mind has been filled with thoughts of what is happening there. the struggles, the heartache, the recovery efforts, and so much more. such a tragedgy certainly puts into perspective just how trivial much of our daily "struggles" are, and i've found myself thinking so many times just how insignificant what i'm thinking of/worried about/bothered by is in comparison to the haitian people.

there are so many ways to help. so many different charities to donate through - even if it's just $5 or $10. the red cross, unicef, and doctors without borders are just a few. another, which we donated through, is mercycorps. paul farmer's organization, Partners in Health, which i read about in his book mountains beyond mountains is also doing amazing work for the haitian people.

the women behind crafthope started a crafthope for haiti shop on etsy. and i donated a few items - nothing big that would bring in a large amount of money for the effort (although when they last posted, they had raised close to $10,000.00 - amazing!). just a few bibs, and some burp cloth sets. but it felt so good to help in a tangible way - the physical act of doing something that might help. i was reminded of the caps-to-cap-haitian project from a while back. i was thrilled when i got an email saying that one set of burp cloths sold, and am hoping another donation sells soon.

update: it looks like all three items have sold! so thrilled, and even more motivated to do more crafting for the shop when it reopens

the shop is closed for a few weeks to let the organizers regroup, and then will reopen for donations. i'm thinking about another donation - perhaps some black apple dolls, a child's apron, or a small quilt. in the meantime, the current crafthope project is going on, and while i'm not much of a knitter (i'm slow, and have recently come to realize perhaps knitting isn't one of my crafts of choice), i'm giving it a go.

i love the concept of craftivism. one of my goals is to find additional ways to incorporate volunteering into my life, and my families, particularly as my children grow and gain an understanding of the world around them.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Margaret Mead

Monday, January 11, 2010

101 in 1001 project... back in mid-2009, i stumbled across the concept of a 101 in 1001 project, and of course the list-maker in me loved the idea. identify 101 tasks/goals/items to accomplish in 1001 days (about 2.75 years). if you're interested in this concept, feel free to stop by the blog i set up last year (and only just recently updated) just for this project (bluespeckledeggs101in1001) which has a much better description.

i loved looking at other lists, and while i need to identify a few more goals to add to the list, it's fun to have this "big picture" in my mind of some of what i'd like to do/learn over a 3-year-period.

what are some of the things you'd add to a 101 in 1001 list?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

born naturalist...

...inspired by several books i've read lately, my son's complete love of the outdoors (this boy seems totally unaware of the temperature - he could play outside for hours at a time in 30 degree weather!), and my own belief that time outside, for all of us, is not just a good thing, but necessary, i've started another blog, bornnaturalist, which i'm hoping will be a place to collect the stories, adventures, photographs, and explorations my family (and others, i hope!) experience.

i hope you'll stop by!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2010 calendar (in photos)...

...last year, one of my aunts made up calendars full of family photos, and sent a copy to each family - i think that was perhaps my favorite gift from Christmas, as it was completely unexpected, included some great photos, and we enjoyed it all year. so come January 1st, it was time to find a replacement. since Ben & I are starting on a year-long project (inspired by the bird calendar Amanda's family did), i thought a calendar full of nature photos i've taken the past two years might serve as both inspiration, and a good reminder.

a few that are included in this year's calendar (i was definately lacking summer photos)...