Friday, July 31, 2009

In The Name of Science

Friday, July 31

Yesterday we went on a field trip with Kevin's summer research students to Multnomah Falls.

We had some good views of the Columbia River Gorge on the way up.
It was a pretty hot day to hike to the top, but we cooled our feet off when we got there.
Kyla charged up the hill and went even faster on the way down.Sydney made it 3/4 of the way before getting a shoulder ride from dad. But she lead the way down so she could be the first one to the ice cream stand.

A short break part way down.
It all had to be done in the name of science.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

You Capture - Friends

Wednesday, July 29

Summer is a great time for capturing friends, especially for kids. This summer has been one play date after another. Here's two friends stopping to talk while enjoying live music at the farm.
Three friends going for a walk in the raspberries.
Here is my 8 yr old with her friends, testing out the pillows they made in our sewing club.
Sleeping version with little sister joining in.
This one is a bit blurry, but still turned out pretty good.
Yea for friends! To see more friend photos visit Beth at I Should Be Folding Laundry (I don't know why the hypertext wasn't working here)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Macro Monday - Orange Stuff

Monday, July 27

These pictures have nothing in common, except orange. This is some dried sap that the girls found while playing at the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival.

Last week we went to Kruger's Farm on Sauvie Island to listen to the music and have a picnic with some friends and the farmer there told us to stop watering our tomatoes! Even though the weather keeps getting hotter and hotter we tried it and just a couple days later we found this. Yea for ripe tomatoes!
This Thursday Ashleigh Flynn & Sneakin' Out will be playing - not sure if I'll make it, but we're big fans of Sneakin' Out.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

You Capture - B&W editing

Wednesday, July 21

I love B&W photos although I almost never shoot in B&W. Usually I just see a picture and then see how it looks in B&W later. I wanted to show a little editing I found on Picasa - I'm sure many have used this before, but this photo really demonstrates it well. Here is the unedited version.

Here is the regular B&W conversion. See how everything looks the same intensity.
Then I tried the filtered B&W tool on the effects tab in Picasa (be sure to undo the regular B&W first). Then you can move the cursor around to see what different shades you can get. By selecting something in the pink range, it makes everything pink look lighter which really makes the flower stand out. Then I did auto contrast and a little sharpening. Viola!
I'm not saying I would choose this over the color version, but what a difference right?

Is it OK to have a little color? Because I can't talk about editing B&W without including a shot like this. Before cropping and editing it was a little boring because no one was looking at the camera, but now I like it.
Here is the color accent tutorial from Pioneer Woman if you have Photoshop.

Last weekend we went to the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival in Portland, OR. The park is under the St. John's bridge, which most people agree is the best looking bridge in town. Here's a view from under the bridge.

Here is one of my favorite photos of the St. John's Bridge that I took a while ago, but I really have to share it. It's the first time I took a cool picture of something other than my kids.

To see all the other great B&W You Capture photos click here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Family Ties

Wednesday, April 8

One day Sydney was telling me about this white basket that two of her very good preschool friends have. They were both flower girls in a wedding. I informed her I could probably find her a white basket that would be just the same.

"But, noooooo - you have to be a flower girl!" Does she even know what a flower girl is?
Probably not.

Several weeks later Kevin and I were discussing a wedding invite that we would be unable to attend and here is the conversation that followed:

Syd: So I won't be able to be the flower girl?

Me: No honey, you'll have to wait for someone like Uncle Kenneth to get married. (You know, someone that she actually knows and is possibly related to.)

Syd: To who?

Me: We don't know yet.

Syd: I think, it's going to be grandma.

Kevin: Umm, you can't marry your own mom.

Syd: Well, I didn't know. . . . . she was his mom!

That girl will do anything for the white basket! I guess we need to work on the family tree thing. I'm pretty sure she knew Kenneth is my brother.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Macro Monday - Echinacea Bloom

Monday, July 20

My renter from last fall planted some perennials and a few of them made it through the winter. I decided to follow this one until it bloomed.

Apparently it couldn't take the pressure of being documented because some of the petals got stuck and never fully opened.
So here is a different bloom on the same plant - good job!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sewing club

Friday, July 17

This summer Kyla and I are having a sewing club with three of her friends from school. Kyla had this idea before the end of the school year and actually interviewed several friends, making sure that each one in the club had sewing experience or was really interested in learning to sew.
When she first asked me about it, I automatically replied - maybe. Then I got to thinking how it would actually be fun spending quality time together sewing and that I should take advantage of the fact that she wanted to hang out with me.

I wasn't really prepared for our first meeting, but I knew that if I waited until I was ready that the summer would be over and ooops, no sewing club. All the girls were very excited and for the first meeting we just practiced sewing straight lines, learning how to thread and work the machines. I actually still remember some of the techniques and projects I worked on when I was in 4-H sewing with my aunt when I was in grade/middle school. Then a friend told me about the free and easy Lazy Days Skirt Pattern from oliver + s. Here is Sydney modeling hers.

So the next week we all worked on skirts. I never got around to taking pics while the girls were sewing because we were too busy. The girls took a lunch break and then the whole thing turned into a big play date.
One person actually finished their skirt before going home and Kyla finished hers a couple days later.
She is so proud and loves her new comfy skirt.
Luckily another mom is going to help out next time. I'm just not organized enough to help four girls at once, but I'm glad everyone is having fun!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

You Capture - Shapes

Wednesday, July15

I have more photos I want to post, but no time to sort and edit. Here is my favorite one - I love the shape of these clouds.
Addendum: OK, I just had a little time to post a couple more shapes.
This week there has been a lot of sewing and painting projects going on. I really need a craft room, because it's such a pain to keep clearing off the dining room table. Here are some shapes on a sewing project.

I've been looking at a lot of shapes lately. Here we go, confessions of a boardgame geek's wife. We have all been getting into painting miniatures for boardgames lately. Here they are after a spray of primer.

And here they are after paint and varnish. It's kind of addicting, because they look so much better afterwards.
But they are so small, about an inch tall, that it is a little time consuming - I need more sleep.
For more shape pictures over at I Should Be Folding Laundry, go here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Who's yard is it?

Tuesday, July 14

I was at a birthday party the other day with my girls and everyone was having a great time, then I started to get really distracted by this squirrel who was apparently very concerned about my friend's dog, Simon.
He was climbing all around this telephone pole, keeping an eye out for Simon.
He kept jumping from the pole to the top of a shed and back again. I couldn't quite capture a leap, he was too fast.
One time Simon chased him, he got a little scared and had to climb all the way to the top.
Ooops I'm busted. Hey don't look at me like that! I didn't do it. You're the one teasing the dog.
No wonder he was scared. Even though Simon looks totally innocent in this picture,check out what happened to that squirrel laying on the ground behind him! Poor guy.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Macro Monday - Caterpillar

Monday, July 13

Thank you Mr. Caterpillar for eating holes in our petunia instead of our zucchinis.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

You Capture - 4th of July

Wednesday, July 8

This week's photo challenge was 4th of July and food. I'm not really a cook, so no food this week. Luckily the neighbors invited us to a BBQ, so we just brought some meat and drinks and didn't have to do any cooking. Thanks Jen & Phil!

Here is my first attempt at fireworks with the dSLR. As you can guess, I didn't realize the shutter was still open when I started moving the camera. That my friends is the Willamette river running through downtown Portland, OR.
Here is an 8 year old who is pretty excited about staying up really late to watch fireworks.
Usually we head toward the Columbia River to watch the show in Vancouver, WA, but it was cancelled this year. We did find a decent spot to watch the fireworks except for my hubby who couldn't find a parking spot and ended up just driving around watching what he could from the car.

I'll have to admit this last photo is not my original idea, but when I saw it on this post over at
Pacing the Panic Room I just had to try it. I was so excited that my kids were old enough to follow my directions and that I figured out that we would have to write the letters backwards before using up any of the 10 sparklers.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Around the homestead

Sunday, July 5

I keep meaning to post an update of the garden, but by the time I'm ready to do it I have to take new pictures again. Here is a picture taken back on June 8. Note how tall the tomato cages are.
Now the tomatoes are well over the top of the cages and taller than 8 year old Kyla. Yes, it's getting a little crowded. We had to chop off a few zucchini leaves so the green pepper could get some sun.

Last week we picked our first two zucchinis and ate them in tofu stir fry, yummy. In the front yard my carpet rose has gone crazy, guess I should have pruned it much shorter.
A couple weeks ago, my folks brought five blueberry plants. Wow, now my yard is starting to look landscaped. Thanks for the plants and the weeding guys! The girls can't wait to start eating blueberries.
The second house is already up next to the house next door. I didn't get any pictures between the hole in the groung and both levels being framed. I think they are already done roofing too.