project life/365 – 5

What a week. So much information I might explode! I am actually dreaming in Photoshop.

Our friends treated us to Legoland tickets – Wahoo!365 - 5-10 Happy face rocks! They just make me want to smile!365 - 5-7 Playing with reflections at the Lego Movie Experience!365 - 5-6 365 - 5-5 Harry’s creation of the week –  a dragon eye.365 - 5-9 Time for an ice cream break treat.365 - 5-3 365 - 5-4 Sewing a drape for the school musical. ( Haven’t sewed in a zillion years.)365 - 5-2 Broadway? No. A musical review at my son’s school? You got it! Posters/props for all the musicals represented in the show. I have been painting these for weeks and am grateful they are finally finished!!!365 - 5-1

Go enjoy your weekend!! I am anxiously anticipating our much needed rain, a weekend of movies, snuggling and hot cocoa!


creative live

Creative Live-15

I have been a bit absentee this week but I have a good reason, I have been over at Creative Live for their Week of Photoshop classes. If you watch live, the classes are free but you can also buy anytime access to all the classes in a series. In the evening, they repeat the day’s classes. Even though I know quite a bit about Photoshop and Lightroom and use both daily, I feel there is so much more to learn. There are so many ways to do different things in these programs and it is fun to pickup tips and watch other’s workflow. If this is your thing, you must go check it out!!

(In this photo, I played with my better understanding of gradients in Lightroom).

project life/365 – 4

And another week goes by…

Here we are modeling Harry’s valentines he chose for his class- “Wacky Glasses”.  project life 4-1

The goofy version. (self-timer)project life 4-2

This was the envelope from my son’s valentine to me. Get it Mom “Rocks” and all the different type of rocks? It made me laugh!project life 4-20

An 80 degree beach day in mid-February = crazy!!!!!project life 4-10

Instead of snowballs, they made “sand balls.”project life 4-5 And had a sand ball fight!!!project life 4-4 project life 4-8

Jumping over waves.project life 4-12

Playing at the parkproject life 4-17

The boys wrestling.project life 4-18

Painting.project life 4-19 A project I am working on.project life 4-23

Our family is a little obsessed with the Rubics cube.project life 4-30project life 4-21 And then I caught my husband cheating.project life 4-22

Eating shabu shabu for the first time at home. (We bought the cooker 4 years ago  – it’s about time.)project life 4-24

Meet “Uni-Bunny”.project life 4-31

On that note, have a great weekend!


collage stuff-7

I have stuff, and more stuff, too much stuff and I am trying to purge all the STUFF!!! As one who loves to document our lives, I tend to hold onto everything – brochures, cards, receipts, maps, wristbands. You name it, I keep it. But not anymore!!! I have been doing several things to help with my problem. I scan a lot, but I also take photos of the stuff. I find that these photos are great way to represent a trip, or a day at school, or a love story and I often include these photos in my photo books.  Once it is scanned or photographed or both, I let it go – Yes, it goes straight into the trash (well, once I have made sure the photo was decent and in focus). I love watching all that stuff just go away!!!!

I layout all the stuff on a poster board on my living room floor. I play around in a collage style for a while until I find the right combination. I get up on my step stool and take a photo from above like this:collage stuff-8

Then I crop it.collage stuff-9

All these “super student” slips, I really didn’t need to save but I did. Right now I am working on my son’s 2nd grade book and I can actually see this being a page in the book.collage stuff-10

These were my son’s valentines from his classmates. (I love the combination of my son’s design on his paper bag to what was hip and cool in 2014 – Minecraft, making your own, Star Wars, science, and the sweetarts and Fun Dip is still just as great as when I was a kid, etc.)collage stuff-11

(The first photo was love note cards from my husband from our first year of dating.)

So go do it!!! Take photos, scan, purge!! Let it go!!! It makes you feel really good!!

because design matters

Valentines Block-2At this point, it pretty clear I love photography and all things related to photography so it probably comes as no surprise that I love to give and get photography related gifts, Valentine’s Day was no exception.

I have been eyeing Artifact Uprising for quite a while and trying to figure out an excuse to make something. I love, love, love there core values. This was taken directly from their website:


CREATIVITY / for all things, endless possibility. for every story, endless ways to tell it.
COMMUNITY / we seek to cultivate a community of inspired storytellers – of movers, shakers, do-ers, designers, creatives, artists, thinkers, joy-makers. we believe in the power of community to ignite creativity.LEAVE A LEGACY / we believe in the story that is archived for future generations. we believe in moving stories off our computers…and into our lives.THE POWER OF ONE / to create art. and change the world.

PASSION / without it, we are nothing.
ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY / we strive to be kind stewards to mama earth and her happy forest. we are committed to using environmentally responsible papers and are always seeking ways to minimize our impact on the outdoors – a playground that shapes so much of who we are.
AUTHENTICITY / in all things. in our communication. in our company. in the transparency of our supply chain. in our own story.



When I finally decided I needed to get my husband something for Valentine’s Day, I knew where I was going. I don’t know about you but I think men are so difficult to shop for. After looking through their different possibilities, I chose the “wood block and prints“. The wood block is made using beetle-kill pine reclaimed from the forests of Colorado. It also includes 12  5″x 5.75” heavy weight card stock photos that sit neatly in the wood block. Now the choice was finding the right photos. Most of their examples were black and white and very abstract which lent itself to my husband’s simple style but I did need to make it a bit more personalized – with special moments between us, a couple of our son and a couple of just me (it is for him) and converted these to black and white. I also added a beach shot, a sunset shot and a sky shot which I kept as color because that it was makes them special. Artifact Uprising was very easy to use and once I had decided on my photos, it only took me a couple of minutes to place on the computer and submit. My husband loved it! It is sitting in a prominent position on his desk. This was a great, easy and simple gift. I am thinking about making one for my desk too.

Valentines Block-1

Valentines Block-5

project life/365 – 3

Happy Valentine’s DayProject Life 3-38

On to the week in photos:

A bike ride.Project Life 3-1 Everything is awesome!Project Life 3-2 A fun shot of our vintage theater.Project Life 3-3 Jacuzzi time.Project Life 3-4 A trip to the tide pools.Project Life 3-13 Project Life 3-9 ” Mom, it’s a hermit crab.”Project Life 3-7 Project Life 3-12  “New Hermy City” ( because of all the hermit crabs)Project Life 3-14 Climbing and exploring.Project Life 3-15 Project Life 3-16 Harry is holding the tiniest starfish.Project Life 3-17 The tiniest starfish hanging with his new friend hermit crab.Project Life 3-21 Us together. (Hubby took the shot.)Project Life 3-18 Harry imitating a hermit crab. Weird!Project Life 3-19 A cool little cave.Project Life 3-20  Off to an engineering class. Harry built a hyrdrobot.Project Life 3-24 Showing Dad how it works.Project Life 3-25  Patrick left me a little note to start my day. Project Life 3-27 Working at Starbucks.Project Life 3-29 Being silly at Starbucks.Project Life 3-28 Building paper airplanes at school.Project Life 3-31 The competition. (It seems Dad’s won).Project Life 3-30 Looking through a giant telescope. You could see Jupiter and four of its moons.Project Life 3-37

Have great President’s Day Weekend!!

humans of new york

humans of new york-1Have you seen this book? Have you seen this website? It is just the coolest! My friend (thank you Rebecca) recommended this book and she couldn’t have been more right! I bought the kindle version on my ipad for my birthday in December. Amazing!!! Have I mentioned how cool this is? I just can’t get enough! It is storytelling and photos. There is also a link on Facebook – throughout the day, wonderful stories of people pop-up and make you smile!

The premise is the people of New York City, one story at a time. Brandon Stanton started taking photos and pairing the photos with a question or a quote from the people he met. He discovered that each and every person has story to tell. He is the ultimate storyteller. Please go check it out!

love you because…

love you because-24

Another Valentines Day Idea! It is only 4 days away! Yikes!

I cut about thirty pieces of construction paper in various colors and wrote 30 (completely random number) love notes to my son, folded them, put them in a box and tied a bow on the top.

My son loved opening the box and each note was like a new present. He couldn’t get enough!

It is also wonderful to remember and write down all the good things (because sometimes it is hard and we forget).

I love you because…..

  • you are goofy and silly
  • we have so much fun together
  • you love your kitties
  • you have a really big heart
  • you always try
  • you are a great snuggler
  • you always let me take your picture
  • you share your last cookie with me
  • you are you
  • ( and a million more reasons)

I hope you enjoy this simple, meaningful project as much as I did!

project life/365 – 2

A week in photos:

My boys snuggling while watching an Alaskan wilderness survival show.project life 2-21  Harry lovin’ on Moomba while Moomba wonders when its ever going to end.project life 2-20Harry is really into origami. This was his first get together with the origami society. He started with a dragon and a whale.project life 2-23 I guess he proved himself because “the guy” ( the one who has written lots of origami books and is quite the expert) decided Harry was worthy and taught him how to make a cool tessellated inspired box top. And I learned a new word “tessellated”.project life 2-22 And here is the end result. That is some serious origami.project life 2-8 Fort Day. Harry tore apart the living room to make his pirate ship, sails, ships wheel and all.project life 2-18 A clay dragon.project life 2-9 Raja sunning himself.project life 2-16 After weeks of begging for lasagna, it finally arrived. Now Harry could be just like Garfield.project life 2-2 This little gem of rock art was found on a walk. It made my day.project life 2-6 Harry randomly touched something on the iPad and it froze. He was heartbroken thinking he had ruined it forever. The iPad is fine, but this note is priceless.project life 2-28Raja can’t resist a box.project life 2-3  It’s a “Lovey Party” – all the “friends” come out, we bring soft blankets and make sugar cookies.project life 2-30 Shopping for Valentines at Target.project life 2-32 Bought paints for a big project and couldn’t resist a little photo shoot.  All the pretty colors just make me smile. project life 2-34

Happy Friday!!!

wall of travel

wall of photos-1The long expanse of white wall was just boring. It needed something, but what? And then it came to me, I take thousands of photos and we’ve gone to some really cool places, what if I combined the two!

After much research, I found the right company Canvas 4 Life.  I purchased a canvas with the same image from various companies until I found the company that had what I wanted. Canvas 4 Life had a large selection of sizes and I was impressed with the canvas’s texture and vibrancy of color. Another bonus was the fact that I could chose my own custom color for the edges.

I searched for photos of us with iconic images of places we’ve been (and some of the photos were just special to us). Since all the photos were from different times and places, I knew I needed to create a sense of continuity so I chose to keep them all the same size and cropped my photos accordingly and ended up purchasing eighteen 10″x10″ canvases. Once the canvases arrived, I placed them in various spots until the colors seemed to balance each other.

Now that blank wall of blah became our wall of fabulous, colorful memories.

wall of photos-2