project life/365 – 1

A week in photos….

My long, stretchy cat who twists in ways I didn’t know possible.Image

He chalks his face in every art class. He says he is like a “Creeper” from Minecraft but I don’t think I understand.Image

Finishing Artemis Fowl. ( a self-timer shot)Project Life-3

The Pokemon XY pre-release tournament.Project Life-4

Jumping on a beautiful day. I can’t resist a jumping shot.Project Life-5

Playing with negative space during a sunny day with blue skies.Project Life-6

Can you believe the craziness of night swimming on a January day?Project Life-7

There can never be enough Calvin and Hobbes!Project Life-8

The Scream – Otter version. hmm….Project Life-9

Working on another creation.Project Life-10

He is such an easy kid but when it comes to haircuts he is a nightmare, but it was time to suffer because I really wanted to see his eyes again.Project Life-11

Happy Friday!


it’s all in the details

There is something about the details that really conveys a story. This is the story of the loved, furry ones that are always at our side, those little details that make them unique. My cats have these quirks and funny stories to tell and I wanted to capture their essence.

I used a 105mm lens to capture these details. A collage seemed the easiest way to put the details together and I am thinking I will have these printed and framed.


Syberia Close-Ups1

  • If you look really closely she has these slight brown spots near her iris.
  • She has one dark front paw and one beige front paw. (It gives her a dainty touch.)
  • The very tip of her tail is beige too.
  • She loves to drink water from the sink and always ends up with a wet head.
  • There are tiny brown spots on the pad of her brown paw.


Raja Close-Ups1

  • He has black whiskers that ombre into white whiskers.
  • He has an inordinately large amount of fur between his paws. (He definitely leads the plush life.)
  • When he is really happy, he drools.
  • Even though he looks very white/grey as a whole, when you see his tail, there is huge contrast with a very dark colored edge. (He seems sweet and innocent but he has a dark side.)



  • There is this crazy long tuft of fur on the very top of his ear.
  • He has piercing green eyes.
  • Only his belly has the sweetest, curly fur.
  • His whiskers are crazy long. (He is the gentle giant.)

By the way, taking photos of cats is just as hard, if not harder, than taking photos of a toddler in action.

happiness is…..

Happiness Is-1You may or not be there yet, but Valentines Day is around the corner. This project would be a great gift for your kids, your spouse, your family or just for yourself. I received a $9.99 Shutterfly photo book coupon, so I decided to find a way to spend it. While looking around at the Shutterfly templates, I found this  “Happiness is…” Book. It is just my style – simple and uncomplicated.

The page colors offered were muted, so I decided to adjust my photos for a muted or desaturated look to go with the feel of the book. Once I found the photos I wanted to incorporate into the book, I used Photoshop and Totally Rad Actions to give them a bit of a retro/vintage feel. This book worked perfect in the 10×10 style and it was incredibly easy to insert photos, change page colors and add the “happiness is.. words.”

happiness is…    our familyHappiness Is-2

happiness is..   a state of mindHappiness Is-8 happiness is..  the journeyHappiness Is-9 happiness is… the simple thingsHappiness Is-10 happiness is…   loveHappiness Is-3 happiness is…   the everydayHappiness Is-4 happiness is…   you and me togetherHappiness Is-5 happiness is …. laughing out loudHappiness Is-6 happiness is…  everything about youHappiness Is-7

What is your happiness?

project life/365

Fridays, I thought I would share my photos from the past week. I have been taking photos of my family and our lives every day for the past 4 years. Capturing the little moments, the big adventures, the details, the emotions, the stories, all of it. There is nothing like it.

A 1500 Van Gogh puzzle from Christmas that is still in progress.Week 3-1

Miniature golf in Storybook Land.Week 3-3 Week 3-2

My cat staring longingly at the new printer he wants to play with (which is probably why the last printer broke.)Week 3-4

Another incredible sunset.Week 3-5

We finally got a chance to play Qwirkle – a gift from Santa and we can’t get enough. What a great strategy game.Week 3-6

Two of my cats acting incredibly demanding  and not letting me get a thing accomplished.Week 3-7

My boys on the way home from breakfast.Heading Back from Breakfast-1

My son has been obsessed with Sherlock Holmes for quite a while. He saw a segment on the CBS Sunday Morning Show and decided a trip to the library to get Hound of the Baskervilles was a must and I certainly won’t deny my son a trip to the library. He even got to find his book in the adult section.Week 3-8 Week 3-9 Week 3-10

A playdate with his friend. They are building Harry Potter legos and creating stop action films.Week 3-11

My sweet baby girl kitty.Week 3-12

Picked my son up from school with this rainbow loom creation in process. I guess he snuck a baggie full of bands out of the house in the morning. (Good thing the school got a grant for separate forks and spoons because this probably wouldn’t have happened with sporks.)Week 3-13

His first lesson in perspective, using horizon and depth. Please notice the sun setting on the water, over the dome that protects those entering Poseidon’s castle.Week 3-14

Happy Friday!

photography of collections

My son wanted to write a post on his blog about collections. Yes, my nine-year-old has a blog and I help him by taking most of the photos. You can see it here:

So, it got me thinking how am I going to photograph these objects that mean a lot to him and make his story even a little bit exciting. After looking at the objects, some interesting ideas took shape.

Making a pattern.


Lining up items and then changing direction.


Using a focal point.


Placing objects on the diagonal.


Instead of lining everything up in boring lines, we switched it up and my son’s story took on a new life. I am excited to keep experimenting with ways to photograph “stuff”.

one little word

Build Book-1

I have been following Ali Edwards blog for years. She constantly inspires me with her real world storytelling. At the beginning of each new year, she talks about choosing a word for a year. This years story about her word is here:

I can embrace the idea of an inspirational word rather than trying to make a dozen resolutions that never seem to happen. We usually choose a word as a family, something we want to strive towards, a foundation for change, a feeling to embrace and live by. Our past words include, change, create, rediscover, emerge. This years word is BUILD. In an attempt to figure out how to embrace this word, I started perusing the internet looking for quotes that included the word “build”. I looked through pinterest and then went to on to quote sites: There are tons of good quote sites out there but these two are my favorite. The following two you can search by whatever word you are looking for and it will come up with quotes including that word.

Once I found all these inspirational quotes, I wanted to make sure they were in a place in our house that we could refer to them and remind us of our goals/ inspiration for 2014. I decided to make a cute little book that we could refer to.

I turned to Blurb.

Blurb have a variety of sizes and cover options, very user friendly templates and you can make enormous books ( really great for books over a 100 page limit which most companies have). My complaints with their books is if you have high quality photos they can look a bit noisy or grainy in print and they do not have a lay flat option. For this book, Blurb was the perfect choice.

I started with a 7×7 softcover book. I took some abstract photos I had of flowers, trees, architecture, etc. and instagrammed them to get that whimsical, oversaturated look. I stuck with one basic format of picture on the left, quote on the right.

Build Book-2 Build Book-3 Build Book-4 Build Book-5 Build Book-6 Build Book-7 Build Book-8Now we have a great little book to leave around the house to remind us to “build”.

sunset photo books

Sunset Books-1

Every holiday season, I make my husband a photo book composed of sunset photos we have taken during the year. We are very fortunate to have some incredible sunsets. The last two years I have made a book with Adoramapix. You can find their website here:

I really like Adoramapix photo books for their variety of sizes and high quality, lay flat pages. The cons of this company are their specific page numbers – 14, 26, 38, 50 or 76. I don’t mind the page limitations with this type of book about sunsets because I can easily figure out how to make the photos fit or delete a couple photos, but when I am telling a story in a photo book, I have a much harder time limiting my pages to a certain number because I never know how many pages I will need to tell the whole story.

For both books, I chose the “Custom Hard Cover” option for the covers which takes an image of mine and wraps it as the cover. When my first book arrived, I was in awe of the cover’s most beautiful, metallic finish. It just has this incredible luster. The attempt to photograph the finish just doesn’t come out so you have to take my word for it but it will make say you “wow”!

Both books are 8×12 in size with 26 pages each. Below are some sample pages.

Sunsets 2010 Book:

Sunset Books-2For this book I chose black as the background color or base color. And used Ali Edwards “Words of Beauty Hand Drawn Words” digital brushes. Included are cursive words such as ” beauty”, “stunning”, ” “fantastic”, “dazzling”. The perfect words to describe these sunsets and add a simple detail. Here is the link:

You can see how I used the words.

Sunset Books-3

Sunset Books-4Sunset Books-6Sunset Books-7I also keep the layouts for such a small book to about 3 different layouts or variations of them.

Sunset Books-9

For the 2012 Coronado Sunsets Book, I wanted something similar but different. So I kept the same size book, used white as my base color, did not add any digital brushes and used different, simple layouts.Sunset Books-10 Sunset Books-12 Sunset Books-11 Sunset Books-14 Sunset Books-18 Sunset Books-19

a year in a jar


Year End Notes Jar-19

Last January, I set up a jar, scraps of paper and pen in the kitchen in hopes of documenting a years worth of memories. I sat it right in the middle of the kitchen, so my family couldn’t miss it. The idea was to write down milestones, trips, fun stuff or anything we wanted, that happened in 2013. Sometimes we were diligent and sometimes we were slackers. But the ultimate reward, was opening all those notes in the beginning of this year. There were milestones – new karate belts, turning 50 and so much more. There were also funny ones that made us laugh out loud – “Daniella thought Harry was cute” or “Mom learned to ski. She was very slow.” I really didn’t know how this project would turn out but it was such a reward at the end of the year and of course the responses like ” I can’t believe all that happened in one year” gave it quite the “wow” factor. This was a great project with minimal effort.

Year End Notes Jar-15