Monday, November 24, 2008

~*Christmas decorating already???*~

I noticed that some of you have started decorating for Christmas already. Really? I don't usually start until after Thanksgiving and even that is new for me. My son's birthday is the 10th and to make sure he didn't feel that his birthday was squished in between Thanksgiving and Christmas I would not decorate the house for Christmas until after his birthday party. That usually only gave me 2 weeks to get Christmas going in my house but I felt it was important. Now that he is older, he doesn't mind that I start decorating Christmas after Thanksgiving. But I don't start before then. I like to let it feel fall like as long as I can and here in New England it goes by fast enough as it is. I love the smells of Thanksgiving and the crisp Autumn feel. Also, I have a ton of snowmen and even after Christmas I keep them out all winter long, so those decorations are out for a long time.
That is my schedule for holiday decorating. I was just curious what everyone else thinks about Christmas decorating before Thanksgiving and why you do or don't do it. Ok, I have some pies and a cheesecake to get started today and on top of everything else going on, my neighbor died yesterday and so we have the viewing tonight and the funeral tomorrow. It is really sad, he was a very nice man.
Ok, on that note, have a great day!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

~*about Nikon school*~


Some of you have asked about Nikon school. I'd love to share my experience with you. First let me say this, I have been anticipating going to this class since I got my Nikon over a year ago. My brother and I have been discussing going together. He finally got his camera this year and as soon as the schedule for Connecticut came out I signed us up (the class was full last year).
Then we waited and waited for class. We were sent an email link with a PDF workbook that we printed off and discussed. We searched photo sights and discussed different techniques, styles and photographers. In the meantime I have been taking lots and lots of pictures, as you all know.

This is my current camera, the D40. I love it. I still don't know all that it does, but I love it. It is lightweight and takes great photos, and since I have been taking photos I have been able to do all the things with this camera that I was not able to do with my Sony Cybershot point and click.
Below is my dream "next" camera. If I continue to be asked to take pictures and better yet, if I start to get paid to take photos I may need to have more than one camera and this is the one I would want.
Now, about the class. If anyone is interested or planning on taking this class (and we took both classes offered, the intro to digital slr photography, and next steps in digital slr photography color, light and technology) know this- they are seminar classes, fast paced, long days, you don't get a copy of the power point presentation they use to teach with. There is a lot of information presented. It is difficult to take any notes as it goes very fast and the room is dark. They do give you the workbook that you print out beforehand and they give you some small books at the class, but they don't even come close to all the information you will hear. There is a short q&a after lunch but there are a lot of people at these classes and having your questions answered may not happen. You don't have time to put into practice what you are seeing if you bring your camera with you, so don't bother to bring it. There are no products sold or offered there. You may get a coupon for a rebate on the product of the sponsor for the class. Ours was SanDisk and we got a rebate on memory cards. They did give away some CD's, but we already had them, and a few books and 2 Nikon Capture NX2 programs. Overall, I would give the school a C. I would say save your money and take a digital photography workshop somewhere where you can bring your camera and do more hands on type lessons, there are even some of these offered online. My brother and I are going to take more classes but it will definitely be a workshop type class. We are also going to spend at least a day a week taking photos together and trying to put into practice what we were taught.
I was disappointed in the Nikon school, but only because I was so excited to take it I thought that afterwards I would be a better photographer. Did I learn anything from the class? YES!!! But I wanted to learn more. A lot more. I was expecting more than what the class offered and that is why I was let down in the end. My expectations of the school were too high. If you plan to take it know what you are taking. Remember that it is a seminar type class. Lunch is provided and it was delicious on both days! We did gain some information and the instructors (both professional photographers) did give us great info that we came away with, things that we will use from now on. So it was not a complete loss. Like I said- too high of expectations and that is why I was disappointed. I would not take the class again unless they offered it to previous graduates for free, especially since I had to fill out my own diploma! Hope that answers any questions anyone had!
Have a great day!

Monday, November 17, 2008

~*busy~busy~busy*~

Only 38 days till Christmas??? How did that happen??? I know, I have been so busy I didn't realize what day it was. I have made my menu and shopping list for Thanksgiving and this week is the big rush of clean-up. Even though it is only my immediate family, I want everything to be perfect. Unfortunately we only use our dining room for special occasions (we should change that!!!) and I have to get in there and dust the chairs, the hutch and vacuum, wash and iron the tablecloth and napkins, and decide on a centerpiece still. But then I get to decorate for my most favorite holiday of the whole year! CHRISTMAS! I love it! I see that Sirius already has a holiday station going so I will be able to play Christmas Caroles while working around the house and decorating, baking, etc. I have a few things to do outside the house this week and then I think I have a slow down (at least for outside activities!) so I can concentrate on the holidays. I love going after Thanksgiving and picking out our Christmas tree. I love snow. I love trimming trees all over the house. I love the window candles glowing at night. I love it all!!!! So, only 38 days!!!! Please Christmas slow down, I want to enjoy it and you come and go oh too quickly!!! For now I am concentrating on next Thursday, and then I switch gears.
I am going to lunch with the workshop ladies today. I should find out how the bazaar went. I had Nikon class that weekend so I couldn't be there with them, I was able to go down earlier in the week and help them set up, but I am curious how all our crafts sold. Gotta go get ready.
Have a great day!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

~*Whatcha' workin' on Wednesday*~

It's time for WWW, thanks to Leslie. No I didn't make this cute little candle mat, it is just a reminder that I need to start preparing for Thanksgiving. I have written my menu (not much change there, my family won't let me change it one bit... it must always remain exactly the same), written my shopping list and starting thinking of my centerpiece. My parents are going out of town to be with my brother so it is just my immediate family and possibly some friends.
Here is another picture from the police 140th anniversary party we went to. I had my hair done that day, that curl lasted all through the next day. My hair is really hard to curl, so I was thrilled with how it came out and how it looked. I only wish I had more pictures taken of it. But once again, I was the one behind the camera, so I only got a few. This is one of our city's women officers, Sarah. She is great, and aside from serving as a police officer, she also serves in the military so I thought it fitting to give her a special honor during this week as well.

Now, finally, this is what I am going to be working on. I want a new tree skirt for my dining room snowman tree. I have a cheap one that I got when I first put up the tree, but I really want a nice snowman one, and I saw this one and figured it was not only as sweet as can be, but I love the look of it. I am going to be doing it in wool and penny rug style. It is hard to see unless you enlarge it but each one of the stars on the black is actually on a prim tree stitched on the wool. It is going to be so cute. Am I going to have it finished in time to use this Christmas???? Who knows, but I am going to give it a good effort.
Have a great day!



Friday, November 07, 2008

~*oh baby*~

Today my baby girl turns 23. I can hardly believe how old she is. We went to lunch since she has plans for dinner/ going out with friends this evening. I cannot describe how much I love this child. Not that I don't love Matthew just as much, I do. I miss Krista. She doesn't live at home anymore, and there are days I miss her so much it brings tears to my eyes. I know they have to grow up and they will create lives of their own, but I miss her. I have my whole life wrapped around my children and now that they are starting their own lives without me, I don't really know what to do with myself. But today I celebrate the day I gave birth to my beautiful daughter. She renewed my faith in life, she gave me courage to go on after losing a child, she taught me all about unconditional love, she caused all my heartaches and headaches, and she made my heart swell with pride and joy. I love you Kris. Have a wonderful birthday. Be good, be wise, be who you are because there is no one else like you and I wouldn't trade a moment of knowing you for anything. Love you sweetpea!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

~*better late than never*~

My Halloween stitchery is finally done and on it's way to it's new owner. I am really happy with the way the coffee staining turned out. I have just been so busy during this election season, and especially yesterday (I had to be at the polls for 6am, then back at 8pm to gather the results, then to the victory party for my congressman who won his district) and I feel really run down today. I thought I would take it easy but then I remembered that I had to get my October swap ( I know this is already November!!!) package out and I still had to finish this one last thing... so I did that and now I am going to sit back and chill for a while.
Have a great day!!!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

~*It's your right-it's your duty*~

Make sure to take the time to vote today!

Monday, November 03, 2008

~*the big party was a big success*~

Back from Nikon school....it was great. I learned so much... I forgot so much of what I already learned.. there was so much information there. I will definitely take another digital photography class, but this time more of a workshop and less of a conference style. But it was good.
The 140th Anniversary party of my local police department was a big success!!! It was Thursday night. (I know, I am so busy I can hardly stop for a second!) I was the official photographer for the union for the night. It was a really great night and Dan and I had so much fun. Of course, we always have a great time when we party with the cops.
Here are the Firefighters Pipe and Drums, again.
And of course Chip and his wife Dawn.
My friend and one of the K9 officers Matt and his wife Jen.
Dan and I, I am not responsible for the fact that the person taking the picture cut the top of Dan's head off. It was late in the evening and there was an open bar!
And the lady cops in my city. Besides being lovely, they are awesome cops!
There was an after party, but by that time I had just had too many glasses of wine to take any more pictures. All in all, it was a big success.
Now, I have the big push for election day tomorrow. Then I think I finally have some down time until Thanksgiving.... I think! My mind right now is still trying to process all the info I learned at class this weekend. I don't have pictures from class, it just went too quick, and it was long days, it was an hour drive to get there and home, so I was just trying to make it to class and get all the information I could. But after class I hope to be taking even better pictures than before.
Now back to my regularly scheduled life, cleaning, laundry, vacuuming.
Have a great day!