Thursday, December 30, 2010

I Did It!

My 200th book this year was, appropriately, Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts.  If you want to see the complete list of books I read this year you can read that post here.  I also completed the YA Reading Challenge & the Local Library Challenge.

Now for the review:

I am a giant sucker for books that are part of a short series or trilogy.  Don’t get me wrong, I love longer series like John Sanford’s Lucas Davenport novels or Kathy Reichs’s Temperance Brennan series, but sometimes you just want to begin and finish something quickly.

A Nora Roberts book is always a good book in my opinion.  She writes two different kinds of novels.  The romantic suspense and the just plain romance.  I’m not a huge fan of romance, but I have always loved Nora Roberts.  She’s got a way with characters and setting a scene that other writers wish they could attempt.  I read a lot of dark stuff and sometimes I need some lighter fare to break up the monotony.
This quartet of books included Vision in White, Bed of Roses, Savor the Moment & Happy Every After.  The characters in order of their books: Mac & Carter, Emma & Jack, Laurel & Del and finally, Parker & Malcolm.

Four best friends who have known each other for pretty much their entire lives grow up to go into business together planning weddings.  Mac is the photographer, Emma the florist, Laurel the pastry chef and Parker is the one who makes sure everything turns out perfect.  They meet their men and fall in love and hopefully get through it all to live happy ever after.

The stories are predictable, but that’s okay.  Sometimes it’s fun just to go on the journey with them.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Camera Crazy

For me, this Christmas was quite camera-focused *no pun intended* holiday.  Something’s going on with my Picasa so I haven’t uploaded our Christmas Day pictures.  When I do I’ll be sure to post about that craziness! 
My Daddy lent me his 35mm Pentax Super ME SLR.
He has some other lenses for it, but to start with I have the 55mm f/1.4 and a 135mm f/2.8 to play with.  I can’t wait to start taking pictures with it and see how I do with real film!
Ray’s parents got me pretty much every lens attachment & filter I wanted for my Holga!
There’s the 5 macro & close-up lenses and a telephoto and wide angle lens.
I also had some filters on my wish list.  A color filter set and a soft surround set.
The biggie this year was the 35mm lens for my Nikon.
One of my other presents from Ray was the Eye-Fi card.  It’s an 8G memory card that goes in my camera.  When I’m at home and the camera is turned on it will automatically grab the pictures off my camera and put them on my computer.  Amazing! 
All in all I was a very lucky girl this year.  So this means I’d better learn how to use this stuff!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Safari Adventure

Today Emma and I went to Anderson Lake County Park.  Emma and I wanted to put on our rain boots and stomp in some puddles, so we did.
We climbed around the creek, followed it around and guessed where it went when it disappeared.  We found it again at a little hidden swimming hole.  Then we noticed a tiny waterfall feeding the little hidden swimming pool and we just had to find out where that came from.
Before we left we admired the stack of rocks someone had left.
We climbed up and over rocks.  Emma called it a Safari, so Safari it was.
We found leaves sunken to the bottom of the shallow parts of the creek.
Saw interesting science experiment type stuff growing on the fallen trees.
We watched one last leaf hanging on for dear life.
And my beautiful girl enjoying her adventure.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I would like to thank Google's Picasa for my newest obsession...


Taken with my Nikon D5000.
Focal Length: 55.0mm
1/60s f/6.3
ISO: 400
Edited in Picnik – 1960’s effect & rounded corners

Picnik is the most fun I've had editing pictures. EVER. EVER.

I discovered Picnik a couple of days ago and it has literally changed my photographic life. I took the picture above a few months ago when Emma and I were walking around the neighborhood. There’s a house on the corner that usually gets weeds about 5 feet high. Then someone comes & cuts them all down and leaves. The backyard fence is missing several planks and this little fence along the front has seen better days, but I thought it took a cool picture.

And it did, but when I uploaded it into Picnik and started trying out different effects I fell in love with it even more. I used the 1960’s effect. I am obsessed with old looking photos. Not like 1901 photos, but pictures that remind me of my childhood. I think they look so nostalgic and fun. I rounded the corners and I was done.

Taken with my Nikon D5000.
Focal Length: 55.0mm
1/60s f/5.6
ISO: 800
Edited in Picnik – Polaroid Frame with Hand-Drawn Hearts Stickers

This picture I just framed and added some of the stickers they have. I really love the stickers and frames. I did a bunch of stuff on Scrapblog until they started charging for a lot of ‘premium’ content that wasn’t really all that spectacular. But you can do the same stuff you did in Scrapblog in Picnik. There’s collage frames & fancy stickers or backgrounds. Now, Picnik is free, but they also have a premium subscription (which I have signed up for). It’s $4.95 a month or $24.95 for a year. I think it’s worth it. I love the premium options and for a little more than $2 a month it’s cheaper than most of the crap I get.

Taken with my Nikon D5000.
Focal Length: 55.0mm
1/3s f/32
ISO: 500
Edited in Picnik – Rounded Corners

For this picture I was reading all over the place about how to make lights look like stars without using an 4-, 6- or 8-point filter. I didn’t think I was getting it, but I really like the way this one came out. Almost all the little lights look like stars! I had to set my aperture as high as it could go even though most tutorials said it would work at around f/22. I didn’t want to change the colors with any effects in Picnik so I just rounded the corners and left it at that. I think it came out pretty good, but that’s just my opinion.

So those are my efforts from these last couple of days. I can’t wait to do more! I think tomorrow I’m going to run to Target and get me some rain boots so I can stomp around in the rain and get some water motion pictures. Wish me luck!

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