Wednesday, April 30, 2008

It's a start

When it comes to scrapping, I've always been a photo-based type of gal. I choose the photos I want to scrap based on my desire or on a given challenge, and then pick the supplies I'll use with those. Tonight I got on the photo train and chose a bunch to print out for the crop this weekend.

Even thought my beloved Dell printer/scanner died a painful death and I now use a Canon, I still use my Dell printer software to layout pics to print. It has a great selection of layout styles where I can select different sizes of pictures to print all on one page. All I have to do is cut them apart. (What you see here are my files as they'll appear when I print them, which is why some are oriented strangely.)

So I've got a wide variety of pictures to use this weekend. I have no illusions that I'll get all of these scrapped, but it's always better to have too many than not enough.

Tomorow, it's down to the basement to start packing stuff. Unless I blow it off to go take pictures or something.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Not a good sign.

I used to be very interested (read: mildly obsessed) in scrapbooking. Seriously. Since about 2003, scrapbooking has been my only real hobby. I have gone through stages where I've scrapped every single day, at the expense of all other activities.

To scrapbook, one has to have photographs, of course, and I've always enjoyed taking pictures. I was not nearly as dedicated to photography as I find myself becoming now, though. I took pictures of my kids and the activities and events of our daily lives without much thought on the technical aspects of the photographs. I didn't feel any desire to explore photography as its own event. That has all changed. Scrapbooking has been completely eclipsed for me now.
The last time I scrapped was in February. Since then, my area has looked like this:
I haven't touched it. Some stuff I had ordered previously has sat untouched, still in its bags, since then.
I'm scheduled to go to an all-day crop this weekend. In order to do that, I need to pack some stuff to work with, and in order to do that, I had to clean up and organize a little bit. I started on that lengthy process tonight.
Usually, when I feel "blocked" or like I've "lost my mojo" (which is the term the die-hards use to describe the feeling of a lack of creative ideas), going through my scrap stuff will help to rekindle a desire to create. Not this time. It felt like a chore, and all I could do was clean up and make a couple of piles of things I might bring with me this weekend. The further chores of selecting and printing pictures and then choosing supplies to use with them still loom.
Don't get me wrong...I'll still go to the crop. I know I'll have fun there, and I will probably enjoy the process of creating some new layouts and playing with my supplies. I just don't think it will carry over to Sunday.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Grumpy and tired

Tired and grumpy. It's been a long day and a long evening and I lack the energy to edit pics to make a real post. Forgive me and I'll make it up to you tomorrow!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Osprey

Yesterday we took a drive to Allegheny State Park in New York. While there, we saw an osprey nest. The nest is built atop an electric pole.

When we first arrived, the male osprey was actually perched on the next pole down and nothing was visible within the nest.

But when I got out of the car and approached to see if I could get a couple of pictures, the female rose up from the nest and flew off somewhere.

The male begain to circle the area, screeching at me.

It was thrilling to see this defense behavior. My shots aren't great; it was verging on rain at the time and I couldn't focus fast enough to catch him very well, but it was a very interesting moment.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Making your own fun

Get a load of this rag-tag crew.

When we first moved to this neighborhood, we were the youngest family on the block. Now, though, some families with kids close to Liam's age have moved in. The dark-haired boy and the little girl are siblings; their parents immigrated from Russia, I believe, and they have exotic names and accents. The blonde ball of energy lives behind us and goes to Liam's school. He has a
brother too, who wasn't present for this adventure. (And in case anyone isn't familiar, that's my demon spawn in the Johnny Cash t-shirt.)

For the most part, this group has worked out their own dynamics. They play fairly well together, and only rarely do they get angry with each other or have fights over silly things.

The other day, some wisenheimer had the idea that it would be really cool to rig Liam's sled up behind a bike so rides could be had. This kept them occupied and enthralled for the better part of an hour.

Isn't the best fun always the fun we make for ourselves?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Meet melanerpes erythrocephalus

Also known as the Red-headed woodpecker.

Before I go any further with this post, I feel the need to address something. Look, I get it. I might look like I'm starting to turn into a bird lover. Any one who knows me might be saying, "Amy, what's with all the bird pics? You used to hate, hate, hate birds." Don't be fooled. I still do. But I mostly hate them when they're close to me. For instance, if I visited the rain forest, I'd love to see parrots in the wild. But I'd move out before I'd allow a parrot as a pet in this house. Also, I'm prejudiced against certain kinds of birds more than others. There. I admitted it. I'm a bird bigot. I like wild birds just fine. I still wouldn't touch one with a ten-foot pole, but I don't find them as disgusting as some other birds, like sea gulls or parakeets.
So think of the birds as photography opportunities only.
Now back to melanerpes erythrocephalus. He's very shrieky, in addition to being a loud pecker. (snicker snicker)
I stood here and watched him high up in a tree for a good 5 minutes.
He'd take a couple of pecks and then sit back up to scan the area.
I guess to get those bugs and stuff, sometimes you have to dig in deep.
And eventually, he got tired of sitting on a branch letting me take pictures and decided to take off.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Flesh of my flesh

Once upon a time, I had a sweet baby girl. She was just the most adorable doll, and I loved to dress her up in frilly little things.
Then she went and grew up on me. Who gave her permission to turn 14, I'd like to know?

She's a typical teen in lots of ways. She likes music a lot. She dresses in jeans and hoodies and Chuck Taylors.

She can be emotional and moody and grouchy. (No, I don't know where she gets it from.)

But sometimes the sun peeks through. And I sure love what I see.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Go cry, emo kid.

I wanted to practice some portraits and darker shots tonight so Em obliged me. We went down to the railroad tracks on beautiful Greengarden Boulevard, scene of many a muffler scrape. There's this big abandoned factory right there, and we snuck under the fence for a minute. Then I chickened out because I started thinking about mean watchmen and that scary-ass MothMan movie.

Note: Em isn't quite as emo as she appears to be in these shots. She actually smiles sometimes. Later we headed out to the North Pier at Presque Isle and I actually got some sweeter expressions. I'll save those for tomorrow.