Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Got Sketch? #132

As you know, I love Valerie Salmon's sketches - their versatility cannot be beat! Here is my interpretation of Sketch #132.

Supplies:  Bazzill (cardstock); Authentique (pattern papers, brads); EK Success border punch; Heidi Swapp (black gem oval); Tattered Angels glimmer mist; Clearsnap Smooch Spritz; Goosebumps; American Crafts (alphas); stitching

Oh and I must share one of the newest products I am working with from Scrap Shotz - it is the Prima Printery Canvas Resist accents! They are fabulous - here is a quick tutorial on how I created a custom complementary look for my layout. 

To blend the canvas accent with the Authentique papers (September Scrap Shotz kit), I used Tattered Angels (denim, Irridescent gold, sand) and the Clear Snap Smooch (Navy Twinkle) Spritz to initially colour the floral bouquet. After it dried, I liberally sprayed it with Tattered Angels pearl mist and a touch of Goosebumps. Then I added some Kaiser pearls for dimension.

Thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pinch Me!

As you loyal blog readers no doubt know, I am a big fan of Valerie Salmon's sketch from the Got Sketch blog. Over the years I have been blessed with the opportunity of creating interpretations of her sketches. And today, Valerie announced her design team! Check out this blog post!

That is me! I am thrilled and honoured to be working for Valerie and with this amazing group of women. Each member is lovely beyond belief and uber talented! Thank you for the opportunity Valerie!

On another note, I know my blog posts have been a bit sporadic *blush* The reason is I went back to work - gulp, Corporate America, yup! It has really shaken things up in our household. To add to the mix, Madison was injured at school, resulting in surgery and a cast for the next 12 weeks. We are still working to find our new normal  - so I do apologize for being sporadic!

Having said all this, I will be back in earnest next week as I have oodles of projects to share!

Thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Got Sketch Express - Sketch #3

Got Sketch Express is just zipping along - it is SO SO SO fun! Here is my interpretation of Sketch #3.

Supplies:  Bazzill (cardstock); BasicGrey (pattern papers, dimensional die cut stickers, chipboard accents, journal spot, alphas); EK Success (scallop border punch, circle punch, flower border punch); stitching

Thanks so much for dropping by!

(And a special thanks to everyone that dropped by to say hi at the Canadian Scrapbookers' Scrapbook Carnival this past weekend at the University of Calgary. I loved seeing you!)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Got Sketch Express2: Sketch #1

It has been just too long...first it was summer and then school started and now I have just rejoined the workforce. Yes, there is lots going on but I am hoping to start up my blog again on a regular basis. Thank you dear Readers for the prod!

Despite the lack of blog posts, I have definitely been scrapping! Here is a layout for the first sketch of Valerie Salmon's Got Sketch Express2. If you are not familiar with Valerie Salmon, click here for more of her awesome sketches! Not only is Valerie uber talented but she is also uber kind and generous and a wonderful friend!

Here is my interpretation of her first sketch featuring one of the monthly Scrap Shotz kits.

Supplies:  Bazzill (cardstock); SEI (pattern paper, die cut dimensional stickers, pearls); Prima (flowers); WRMK chomper; EK Success border punch; American Crafts (alphas); stitching

Thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Advanced Pro: Assignment #4

Inspiration and creativity was our assignment this week. From this class, I have changed how I look at my environment wherever I go. I actually think how viable a location can be for shoots, at what perspective would yield the most flattering images and what would be the best time of day!

My inspiration this week is location. Like real estate, location, location, location is important as is light, light, light. These photos were taken about 30 minutes before the sun was setting - I desperately wished to have captured a few more images from my posing guide....when a passerby wanted to chat about what I was doing and why. Not meaning to be rude, I entertained her questions only to feel saddened (and anxious) about the rapidly setting sun :-) How does one manage these situations?

As with my other assignments, my daughters were my models, somewhat begrudgingly :-) For this location, I was inspired by the gorgeous setting sun against the lake AND I loved the tall flowing grasses that flank the lake area. That golden light is beautiful...sigh...

This image was taken with the sun still bright and "mid" high in the sky but you could definitely see the burnt orange colours. I thought it would be fun to try a silhouette this week to showcase the sunset against the water. If I could reshoot this image, I would stand a bit further back to capture more of the wind blown grasses.

Here is my youngest daughter thinking by the shoreline. For a change, I converted the image to black and white. I am curious if the image would be more impactful with more contrast?

Lastly, here is my daughter waiting and watching the sun get ready to set. I like how the grasses have enveloped her and the golden light on her face. However I do notice the difference of light on her face and next time would move a bit more camera left. What do you think Brooke?

Thanks Brooke - I loved the class!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Advanced Pro: Assignment #3

Here I am at Assignment #3 already. To prepare for this assignment, I took the opportunity to truly understand the goal of the assignment. After some clarification from Brooke, I understand that the purpose of the assignment is to obtain genuine emotion from my interaction with the subjects that I am photographing. To me, this is a daunting task. I am not a professional photographer and have had little experience doing so but I was up for it. I'll be the first to admit that I felt awkward and self-conscious but I felt it was important to remain true to who I was and what my natural personality is. So I "practiced" a few sessions with some friends...and of course my family.

Below are my 3 favorite images from the different sessions.

This sweet guy is 2 months old; he has a lovely disposition and a proud Mama! (I intentionally had Mama in a softer focus!) At the time, she was recounting an adorable anecdote to me.

For this photo, this young man demonstrated to me what he would do if he were a rock star. I think he is well on his way; don't you?

For this image, I decided to trial a "Beloved" invitation. To be honest, I wasn't sure how the invitation would be received. My first thought was I would capture a goofy response but I was pleasantly surprised to receive a genuine hug between the girls. Aaah, if only all days were like this! (And I am hoping this is rim light I see in their hair too!)

Question for your Brooke: Regarding the processing of this image, I left the white balance as is to capture the glow from the setting sun. But I am curious if it should be lightened? I am also wondering if the image would be more impactful if I cropped it tighter? This image has been uncropped.

Brooke, you asked about the role of the interview. For me, the informal interview both helped and hindered. When I spoke with the parents and/or the subjects, there were no strong desires of the images they wanted captured so I felt somewhat directionless. At that point, I used my posing guide as a guideline. Perhaps I was too easy going? But I like the session to evolve and when the opportunity arises to use a pose on my guide, I went for it. Is that what you do Brooke or do you direct the session more?

Some of the interactive ideas used were props. For the two special young men in the photos, I knew they were budding golfers and rock stars! Other techniques were to speak to them (and my other subjects) about topics that were important to them. Personally when I speak with others about interests close to them, I notice their eyes lighting up and changes the demeanour of their faces. For my daughters, I had them play games they loved; they are used to having their photos taken so when given the opportunity to do whatever they please, they take it!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Advanced Pro: Assignment #2

Great assignment this week - posing is something I have been working on. Having a posing guide has been a Godsend for me and my personal preparation style. As per your suggestions in the lesson, I searched several resources for images to include on my lifestyle shoot. However given the scenario that I was shooting; that is, my oldest daughter going to a 6-day overnight camp for the first time, I over estimated the number of images I could capture. As well, the situation leaned more on the uncontrolled rather than controlled side and my inexperience with unforeseen external factors such as multiple friends, varying light and my daughter's own raw emotions was evident. Consequently I was not able to capture all the shots that I had prepared.

Below are the shots that I had planned and did capture. The first image is that of my girls walking together through the field to the check-in point. I love this image because it captured a moment of tenderness between the girls and each girl had some anxiety with my oldest being on her own for a week and my youngest missing her older sister. I was happy with the perspective, behind and low.

This shot was unplanned for a couple of reasons - (1) I was not expecting my youngest to be gutted by her sister's soon to be absence and (2) I wanted to take this shot from a lower perspective but I was not quick enough to lie on the ground, instead I was sitting on the ground.

For this image, I wished I was a smidgeon more camera right to capture more of my daughter's face. I liked the perspective it was shot and I liked that I captured my husband giving Danielle a reassuring kiss. This shot was somewhat unplanned as I had actually planned to capture a slightly different shot of my husband giving a reassuring kiss to my older daughter at goodbye time.

As well, I have been practicing and practicing and practicing with my 50mm and am finding some improvement! Yeah for me!

Thanks Brooke! I look forward to your feedback.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Advanced Pro: Assignment #1

My experience with Brooke Snow's Lifestyle class was amazing, so much so that I am now taking her Advanced Pro class. Let me set the record straight: I am no where near going pro and that is not the plan. My goal is to take amazing photos consistently and to have those photos shine, heck, glow of energy and beauty.

My submission for Assignment #1 is as follows. As you know Brooke, I have been struggling to be consistent with my 50mm f/1.8 lens. These shots were all captured with my 50mm lens. Upon review of the images, I could see there were certain situations where the images were not tack sharp; it is safe to say I am still working through my relationship with this lens...ugh!

This image was taken with me lying on the ground with my daughters looking straight down at me. I set my focus point at the intersection of their cheeks; is this where you would have focussed to? This image seemed sharp to me; your thoughts? Some of the other images had one girl in focus and the other a softer focus which was very confusing for me as I consciously tried to focus at the same spot for each image.

For this shot, I stood on a step stool but wished I had a ladder. While this shot does not have her smiling, I still like the image. At the time, she was looking past me to see the football players practicing. She was waiting for me to get ready!

When I shoot Madison, I am often frustrated. She has ideas and I have ideas and they are rarely the same! LOL As well, Madison is usually SO stiff in front of the camera. Your posing tips were SO helpful to me...and to her! Had I not read your posing tips, I am quite sure I would not have posed her in this position but she was definitely the most at ease I have seen her in awhile in front of the camera. However I would have preferred to be more camera right and would like to reshoot the image with me positioned further camera right.

The next 2 images I liked for different reasons but I was curious in hearing your thoughts in positioning 2 people who have a large difference in height. When I had the girls side by side, I felt uncomfortable standing so far away to accommodate my vision with the 50mm lens as I wanted to see the details on their faces and strands of their hair. I shot them sitting in each others' laps, sitting back to back, lying down and so on. When I repeat this shot, I would remember to tell them to not put their hands on their faces as I find it distracting. Your thoughts?

Again, the hands are quite distracting for me. Would you sckooch my youngest closer to the same plane as my oldest when we is on top? Danielle looks like she could fall off!

Below are the answers to your questions!

Where I would normally would have played it safe by picking a tried and true location, I picked a location that I have long overlooked, the football field beside the playground. Usually I take pictures AT the playground ON the equipment. Until I read the phrase "pick a NEW location" I honestly do not think I would have thought about the football field! Why would I? It is a giant field of grass, lush cushy grass mind you with 2 uprights flanking the ends. When I truly looked at the location, I realized the football field was nestled in the foothills (so glad I was visiting my Mom! :-) )

As I brainstormed my Shot List, I realized that I did not bring the right props or even enough props. I had brought a chalk board that I never used as the girls started to become antsy over the shoot which was a clear sign to wrap things up. They were good for 45 minutes though :-)

Exhausting the location was a challenge for me, one that pushed me out of my safely bounded box in a FANTASTIC way! The challenge showed me that I can indeed deliver quality shots in a seemingly "boring" location. Thank you very much for showing me this concept Brooke!

Regarding the Shot List, it helped me think of how I wanted to position the girls. However my challenge is having them understand the lingo I was using or having them mimic the modelling positions I was demonstrating to them. For the most part I stuck to the plan but as they began to lose interest, my plan began to morph. By preparing the Shot List, I knew the images I wanted to capture but when my vision was not realized in some shots, I began to feel discouraged. It was a roller coaster of emotions for me - those images that "worked" had me feeling ecstatic and those that didn't, unnerved me.

Thanks Brooke! I look forward to hearing your feedback!

Friday, August 5, 2011

All Geared Up with Scrap-Tastic

August 1 was the reveal day for the Scrap-tastic kit, All Geared Up. Becky's kits are chockful of goodies - she has a real knack for blending pattern papers from various manufacturers and adding just the perfect accents. Here is my interpretation of the kit!

First is a layout documenting Danielle's first day at Kindergarten and her first time riding the bus! Gosh, I can't believe that was 2 years ago!!!!! Becky included a transparency that I used as a pocket for my journaling. My plan is to have Danielle write on a tag to include her thoughts too!

Another layout about the girls' love of playgrounds, perhaps this playground more than others. We had just finished an "endless" roadtrip to Osoyoos. Danielle was carsick for the entire trip. We even stopped to do laundry because we ran out of clothes; that happens when you throw up in excess of 11 times!!!!! I will never forget the diver who was "walking" their dog. They tied the leash to their side mirror and drove beside the dog as it ran. Not sure what happened but they inadvertently drove over their beloved dog. That was the saddest sound I had ever heard....and I don't even have a dog.

A simple card; can you ever have enough cards in your stash?

And a thank you card - these I use all the time! I love showing my appreciation to those around me.

I thought these papers lended itself beautifully to some baby pictures I had of Danielle. Sorry this picture was taken with a bit of a tilt.

And lastly, a layout about Madison. Not sure if you can see the tone on tone portion of the title against the blue robot paper but I love it. This is a layout about Madison at 10 years old. I love this layout and plan on doing one of each girl for each age. 

Thank you so much for dropping by! Now head on over to Becky's!!!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

It Was A Hot One Today!

Goodness today it was a hot one in Saskatchewan! The thermometer on my Mom's deck read 42C - yep, 42C but the "official" temperature was 35C with a non-existent breeze. We luckily had the very fortunate opportunity of spending much of the afternoon at a neighbour's pool! The girls spent the afternoon diving for these cool diver guys with propellers that I picked up at Superstore, squirting each other with the noodles, dunking each other and cannonballing into the water. For myself, I swam lengths and also dove for those silly diver dudes! Anything to keep cool! This might just be one of the THE hottest days we have had this summer! (I am not looking forward to going back to the usual tepid summer of Calgary! LOL)

And tomorrow is an equally beautiful and scorching day! Yippee!!!! We have been invited to a pool party and bbq - let's just say I am SO looking forward to it! :-)

Thanks for dropping by! (My blog posts have been sporadic as we have been away almost every week!)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Club Got Sketch #6

Do you have as many playground, play date, swing and slide pictures as I do??? Well, let me provide 2 recommendations - (1) Club Sketch - sketch #6 and (2) Echo Park's Playground collection. Both are AMAZING!!!!!!

The fanciful border stickers, whimsical alpha fonts and the adorable clouds make every layout/project perfect!

Supplies:  Close to my Heart (red and navy cardstock); Echo Park (pattern papers, border sticker, die cut stickers, alphas); Fiskars (border edge punch); stitching

Thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Club Got Sketch #5

Just finally getting around to posting my interpretation of Club Got Sketch #5 - it's a tad late but I loved this sketch nonetheless :-)

This layout documents the new earrings my Mom bought for Danielle who love love loves anything sparkly! My uber practical girl while loving all things sparkly is also conscious of not wearing earrings that will hinder her movements :-)

Supplies:  Echo Park (pattern paper, die cut stickers, mini alphas); American Crafts (glitter alphas); Prima (butterfly); Stampin' Up (notebook edge punch)

Thanks for letting me share!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lifestyle Photography

The old adage "Time flies when you are having fun" definitely applies to my time with you Brooke :-) These last 4 weeks have been dynamic, revitalizing and informative.

For the last assignment, my theme was a Family Walk on the pathways in Fernie, British Columbia. (Gosh, Fernie has a plethora of photo ops - the textures on their walls and the mountain backdrop is breathtaking. Now getting my family to cooperate is a whole other story *rolling eyes*)

Fernie's pathway system hugged the river and wound itself through various grassy fields. This particular grassy field was inundated with wild white daisies. In my mind, I wanted a shot of each girl running through the field but my youngest didn't want to crush any of the flowers so we were at a stalemate. After listening to her arguments of not crushing the flowers, I agreed and she jumped up in glee. This picture is of her jumping in glee. I happen to be kneeling at the time and lucky me captured her expression against the mountains.

Here she continued to jump up in the air but I like the cute toes peeking out from under her dress.

Not to be outdone by her younger sister, my oldest decided she wanted a shot jumping in the air too! ;-) Technically I like that her face is evenly lit in contrast to the above pictures where is a shadow on the face. Despite this, when I see these pictures, it evokes a real emotion in me and my husband.

My hubbie shot my self-portrait after Danielle opened her birthday presents - not sure if I like the photo but considering I can't remember the last time I had a photo of me taken, this is a step in the right direction! I will definitely make it a point to create a "self-portrait" of some sort in my Project 365!

Yes, I see the backs of the chair and the island in the background but I am willing to overlook it considering hubbie rarely takes any pictures :-)

Thanks Brooke for a great class! So what is next for us? :-)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Lifestyle Photography

So here we are at Week #3 - wow! I can't believe it! Taking a more creative expression photography class has really been helpful to me. I love photography. I love seeing life through my camera. This class is teaching me to REALLY see life from different perspectives and that in itself has been a liberating experience. Up until now, I have really been beating myself up about the technical aspects of photography. I am certainly capable of learning all the technical jargon of shooting but it isn't something that wow's me - it's wrong I know but feeling exhilarated when taking these creative photos has rejuvenated my passion and  has paired the technical lingo with the creative. I love this!

Enough rambling - here are my submissions for the Contrast component of the assignment.

In these 2 photos, I snuck up to take a picture of my Mom holding Danielle's hand. My Mom has a special relationship with each of my daughters. The relationship she has with each girl is unique and mutually exclusive from the other. I love that and so do my girls because they are the loved for who they are and "lumped together."

What I could not decide is...is the photo emote a strong emotion taken slightly above or below? I looked at these shots for a long time. I like each image for different reasons - from slightly above as it symbolizes an elder/wisdom relationship and the image from a slightly lower vantage point seems to symbolize a guiding relationship. I just don't know; what do you think?

When I snapped these images I consciously chose to not crop at the joint, to focus my image on the hands, to show aspects of the forearm and to blur out the background. I hope I did it justice.

My other images for contrast are below. Originally I wanted a photo of my husband and daughter's feet in a jumbled mess but my daughter was being an uncooperative turkey!!! I thought it would be interesting to take the photo from a low vantage point with their faces blurred. Now that I look at the image, I think it may have been more interesting it I had taken it from above behind their heads; again, I am not sure?

And I will readily admit here that this may be a lame image. My intent was to contrast the petite size of the leaves against the larger green leaves in the background but this seems somewhat of a train wreck to me. My original intent was to photograph a bee in a flower but could I find one when I needed it??? Of course not!

Ah, we have now arrived at the Decisive Moment submissions with 3 measly shots. Sticking to 3 shots only was a real challenge for me and I'll be the first to admit that I failed. The timing of the shots is hard for me to coordinate with 2 wiggly jiggly girls. What I will say is I shot much much MUCH less than I normally would and that is a huge improvement for me. (Does that count?)

Here is my Mom and Danielle tossing the ball around in the backyard. I tried to keep my focus point on the ball as I loved the splash of red against the muted background colours. I wonder how I could have removed some of the distracting elements in the background by standing in different locations??? I was limited by the available space in the yard.

For these next 2 shots, I stood beside Madison as she cannon balled into the pool. I tried to move what I could from the background but I see the small slide snuck into the background. Hopefully it does not look like some strange horn growing out of her head! However I do love seeing her suspended in the air!

In this image, I like it from above but again my question is...which image is stronger? Here all I see are the funky shadows from the sun on her. I had scoped out how I wanted to take the photo but again I see the pool noodles in the background...aaaack!

Lastly, here is Danielle who seems to enjoy the skateboarding moves - not entirely sure where she gets this but it does make for interesting photography! Once again, my eye is drawn to the harsh shadows and image seems somewhat under exposed. What do you think Brooke?

This was a fun assignment and really had me thinking about point of view alot. Thanks!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Club Got Sketch #4

OK have you ever created a layout or a card that you didn't like, well maybe didn't love would be a more accurate phrase? I created this layout for Sketch #4 of Club Got Sketch. I loved the sketch but I just don't love my layout. Part of the issue is I always seem to scrap differently when I am sick and when I created this, I was definitely sick. These papers are BasicGrey's Lime Rickey - I love love love the papers and the embellishments but there is something about this layout that I don't love. When I look at it again, I think it may be the background pattern...however I do love the colours in this layout and all the other elements.

Supplies:  BasicGrey (pattern papers, chipboard accents, alphas, border stickers); American Crafts (pen for "stitching); EK Success (circle punch)

What do you think?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Lifestyle Photography

This week's challenge is Point of View and Less is More. I took some time to review the video tutorials, to digest the material and then brainstorm what I would shoot that was marginally interesting. I chose to document Danielle learning to ride her RockBoard (pssst! I love the RockBoard - it is rockin' fun even for a Mom!) :-)

I wasn't sure if we were to crop the images so I didn't - but I would like to know for next week???

For Point of View, my initial shot is of my husband teaching Danielle how to ride her RockBoard. (Given that I taught her how to rider her 2-wheeler, the hard work is all done!)

Then the fun began! I actually felt like papparazzi, like I had some idea of what I was doing and truth be told, I really enjoyed thinking through the different points of view to shoot.

For this shot, I was crouched on the ground working to snag a side shot with her Dad briskly walking behind her.

With this shot, I was in the grass, perhaps a verrrrry loose frame??? but I felt this image added so much to the story with my husband rubbing her boo boo after a particularly nasty spill.

And I love this shot from behind and slightly above of my husband putting a reassuring hand on her back as she begins her ride.

For the Less is More portion of the assignment, my initial image depicts Danielle's determination on the RockBoard. I love how her foot is in the air to give that extra oomph to ascend the slight incline.

To breakdown the image, I shot my daughter self-soothing her earlier boo boo. (Yes, she had a wardrobe change after falling and tearing her pants.)

With this shot, I was lying on the ground as she sat on her RockBoard analyzing how she would attack the next segment of the pathway. (She is a cautious determined 6 yr old!)

To further narrow down the scene, I shot her prior to take-off. I am not sure if this is what you were looking for Brooke but in some way I like it. I like that the bolt holding the RockBoard together is in focus but the logo on the front is blurred out as is her foot. I can make out each element but it takes second place. I would love to hear your comments on this one Brooke.

Thanks for reviewing my work - it is greatly appreciated!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Club Got Sketch #3

While I have not been blogging much lately, it doesn't mean that I haven't been scrapping! I have been everything in minimum mode it seems...oy! However with summer coming and lazier days, I'll be back at it even more.

So I'd like to post a few more interpretations of Valerie Salmon's Club Got Sketch challenges.  I love that lady so darn much - she is so talented, so gorgeous and SO nice!

Here is my interpretation of Club Got Sketch #3.

Supplies:  Echo Park (pattern paper, die cut stickers, alphas); Close to my Heart (cardstock, floss); stitching

And a detail shot of the layout...I love dimension on a layout!

This sketch inspired me SO much that I did a second layout for the sketch shown below.

Supplies:  Sassafras (pattern papers, borders); Spellbinders (cupcake die/embosser folder); Ranger (pearl accents); American Crafts (thickers); Close to my Heart (cardstock)

And a detail shot of this layout...

Thanks for dropping by!