Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Blog Angels - October

With the conclusion of October, that means the end of another round of Blog Angels.  This session was a little different in that we were secretly following and commenting on our Angel's blog for the first half of the month, then had the reveal and continued helping our Angel for the second half of the month.  This go-round I was assigned to Heather from Keeping Up With the Giffords.
I feel like I've been a bit of a fail to her as her angel since she indicated she most wanted shout-outs.  I don't use social media for my blog, so this wasn't something I could really help with.  However, I did try to read and comment on her blog regularly.  I don't know that it made a difference with the early reveal versus the previous method of doing the reveal post at the end.  My help was really the same both ways.  I've never really gotten feedback from Heather to know if my comments made a difference, so I'll just assume they have and choose to remain oblivious if they haven't.  Regardless, I plan to continue my following and commenting.

This time I think I got orphaned since my blog angel never posted with the reveal link-up.  So, that's a bit disappointing, but I will still be participating in the next round for December.  This time Rosie has a fun twist in store:
"It will be a true test of selflessness in the spirit of enjoying 'The Spirit of Giving' without expecting to receive anything. This December, when you sign up, you will nominate the blog you will help. I will cross check to make sure that no-one helps the same person. The blog you choose won't know that they are the subject of your help and therefore will have a lovely New Year's surprise in your reveal post! You will be taking part expecting to receive no help. This won't be a problem for my regulars who often forget they had a helper along the way too!"

If this sounds like something you'd like to participate in, follow Rosie's blog and sign up on November 15. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesday 10 - Costumes

With Halloween being just around the corner, it seems that I've been hearing "Can I be . . . for Halloween?" or "I want to dress up like . . ." for weeks.  I seem to have been a slacker in the photography department for a lot of our Halloweens.  Oops!  Here's some of the costumes I've worn vicariously through my children or ones we've used for other occasions.

 50's girl - This is that vicarious living thing.  I always wanted a poodle skirt when I was little.  I whipped up this one the night before "Decade Day" at our elementary one year.
Avengers - When you're a self-proclaimed geek and you're shopping with friends, you can't pass up an opportunity to try on the masks in the toy department.
 60's color-block dress - This was also a night-before Decade Day project.  I completely freehanded the pattern and thought it turned out pretty good.  That is, until we had to slash the back neckline to get it on.
Arwen - This was The Artist's idea.  She saved her babysitting money for months to buy the necklace that is a movie replica.  The dress was a medieval pattern that I made.
Joan of Arc - This was a 4th grade research project.  They did a "Living Museum" and each child gave a short oral report on their person.
 Cub Scout - This is one of our desperation costumes.  Throw on that uniform and instant costume.
Kendoist - This is another family favorite.  We practiced kendo for several years, so the armor makes another easy, instant costume.
Baby Bop - One year Princess fell in love with the Baby Bop costume in our costume box.  I have to admit, she was pretty cute.
Weeping Angel - Maybe it's not the most high-tech costume, but it sure worked to scare the kids as they came home from school.
Sailor Moon - This was The Artist's first real attempt at a cosplay costume.  Again, it was a low-tech version, but it worked.

Linking up with Lena B, Actually

Friday, October 26, 2012

Perspectives - Big & Small


Today's theme for the Perspectives Challenge is Big & Small.
With my crazy week supervising the elementary school bookfair, I didn't get a chance to take photos other than my thimble collection from Tuesday's post.  However, I figure it still works since it is a BIG collection made up of SMALL individual thimbles.

For my other two photos, I'm resurrecting some older ones.  Here's Princess and Little Miss Sunshine on their first day of school.
 Lastly, tomorrow marks 6 years since Princess decided to surprise us with an early entry to this world.  She was so SMALL even preemie-sized clothes were too big.  She almost could have worn doll clothes!
Two months later, she finally grew enough to fit into preemie stuff!
Next week's challenge theme is TRICK OR TREAT.  I'd better not forget the camera on Halloween. 
Have you linked up with the Perspectives Challenge?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuesday 10 - Thimbles

This week's Tuesday 10 with Lena B, Actually is a random theme.  I've thought for a while that I ought to share my thimble collection with my online world.  I've already talked about my love of apples, but thimbles are right up there, too.

One of the questions I usually get when I give someone my email address (thimbleluvr@ . . .) is, "Do you sew?"  At first this threw me because it seemed like such an out-of-the-blue question.  That is, until I realized that people equate using a thimble with sewing.  Yes, I do sew, but I actually do very little hand sewing and I don't think I've used a thimble to sew since I was about 10 years old and helping my Grandma quilt.

I started collecting thimbles when I was 11 or 12.  I've tried to document the different places I've visited and I have many that friends and family members have given to me from their travels.  Others have come from my favorite online site.  So, here's my collection, all 180+ thimbles.

 Since this is a Tuesday 10, I thought I'd highlight some of my favorites or most meaningful thimbles.
Yellowstone Teddy, Alora, Indiana log cabin, Washington apples
 1 - The Yellowstone Teddy - This was the one that started it all.  I grew up a little more than an hour away from Yellowstone National Park and we visited several times a year.  I always tried to use my babysitting money to buy some souvenir on each trip.  One year I had no idea what to get.  One of my aunts suggested I get a thimble and said that some people collect them from all the places they visit.  This seemed like a neat idea and a passion was born.  My mom admits that when she and my dad bought my first display case they never thought it would be filled, let alone have two cases full.

2 - Alora - I discovered an online shop many years ago and found this thimble.  It doesn't have any particular meaning with the design, but the name happens to be the middle name of one of my daughters, and I've never seen anything with that particular spelling, so I had to add this one to my collection.

3 - Indiana log cabin - This one represents my first solo trip.  I flew for the first time and even ended up stranded overnight in the airport 4 hours from home.

4 - Washington apples - My college roommate gave me this thimble because she knew I loved apples.
Heritage thimble, Disneyland Minnie bell, Sphinx , Swan
5 - Heritage thimble - This is the one "real" thimble that I have in my collection.  It was used by my great-aunt.

6 - Disneyland Minnie bell - When I went to Disneyland during my senior year of high school, I couldn't find a thimble other than the one that a friend had bought for me a couple years earlier.  I found this little pewter bell and figured it was about the right size to pass for a thimble.

7 - Sphinx & Swan - When my husband had a job that required him to travel, he knew I expected a thimble from each place he visited.  Usually he was able to find one with the location on it, but sometimes he had to get creative.  Nothing about these thimbles lets you know they are from Michigan and Washington state, but I love them just the same.
Raggedy Ann & Andy
8 - Raggedy Ann & Andy - Sorry for a blurry photo.  I've always loved Raggedy Ann and had a well-loved doll as a child. I couldn't pass up this cute set.
9 - The Care Bears - I was very much a child of the 80s.  I got a Care Bear for Christmas when they were first produced.  When they were re-released my girls fell in love with them, too.  While some of the coloring is off, I still love this row of classic Care Bear thimbles.

10 - Wizard of Oz - I've always loved reading the Wizard of Oz books as well as watching the movie. I knew I had to find a place for this pewter/Swarovski crystal set of thimbles.

So now you know a little bit more about me and the background behind my email name.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Family photo shoot bloopers

Fall always seems to bring thoughts of updating our family photos.  It's been a couple years since we took a more formal family picture and Grandma is asking for updated individual photos for her wall.

I am not a photographer.  Hubby is not a photographer.  Neither one of us has much of an eye for posing or lighting or any of the important phtography elements.  But, we've had semi-decent results in the past with the camera on a tripod and the self-timer, so we got everyone dressed and looking their best, then set off.

There is this subdivision that has a beautiful, open entrance area with a lake, old wooden wagon and windmill to make backgrounds.  We picked one of the windiest days we've had, but decided to persevere anyway since warm(ish) weather days are getting fewer and fewer.  Who wants a family photo with everyone bundled up in winter coats?  Anyway, it didn't take long to realize that doing it ourselves just wasn't going to work.
We're hoping we can work out a time for a local friend (who actually knows what she's doing) to be behind the lens and get something worthy of going on the wall instead of just on the blog.  We'll see what happens in round 2.
Linking up: 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Perspectives - 5 Senses

BREAKING NEWS FLASH  ** This is my 100th post.  What a milestone! I didn't think I'd ever make it this far. **  Now back to your regularly scheduled post . . .
This week's theme for the Perspectives Challenge was the 5 Senses.

My first thought was "easy-peasy".  I figured I could use one of my failed "light" photos of Bugaboo savoring his chocolate doughnut.  That's a "taste" photo if I've ever seen one!

Then I thought of the texture on this brick wall.  Many of the bricks have unique textures, but this one in the middle is the most prominent and interesting.  Something about it just begs to be touched.
I really wanted to capture something to do with smell.  I started thinking about what smells I like and thought of freshly baked goodies.  So, how about a freshly baked chocolate zucchini cake.  It smelled so good that Bugaboo decided he couldn't wait.  Good thing it was cool enough that he didn't get burned.

Monday, October 15, 2012

October Blog Angel Reveal

Once again I've been participating in Blog Angels sponsored by Rosie of Craftbotic.
I can't believe how this month has flown by and it's time to do the mid-month reveal post.  This month I've been stalking following Heather from Keeping Up with the Giffords.
I haven't been able to do much, but comment on some of her posts.  I'm impressed that she has time to blog at all with her teaching, moving and now a computer crash.  I look forward to getting to know her better.  Swing on over and give her some love. :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Dancing in the Dark

It's been a while since I've shared any family fitness ideas.  Maybe it's because my own fitness/healthy eating efforts haven't been bringing the results I want.  Whatever the reason, I thought this would be a good idea as the weather gets cooler and it's too cold to do things outside.  All you need for this activity is some fun dancing music and some glow bracelets or necklaces.

Put on some music, assemble the bracelets/necklaces, turn the lights off and have fun dancing!
What kinds of cool motion effects can you create?

I'd love to know how this works for you if you try it!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Perspectives - Light

Today's theme for the Perspectives challenge is Light.  I forgot about taking photos until yesterday, so I tried being creative with the light in Bugaboo's eyes as he savored a rare treat of a doughnut for breakfast.  Unfortunately, what I ended up with was several photos of him and his chocolate face with very red eyes.  Not the "light" I was going for.

So, here's what I captured outside this morning:
My poor trees are losing all their leaves and getting much "lighter" on top.

I turned around from taking the tree photo and found this cool light patch from the rising sun on the house.

Sunrise over the treetops from our back deck.

Come check out the other interpretations of Light this week.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tuesday 10 - Channeling my inner geek


Today's Tuesday 10 theme is "10 Geeky Facts About Yourself".  When I first started thinking about it, I thought I'd have to change the theme to "10 reasons I'm not a geek" or something like that.
The only geek-related fact I could think of was that I was an adult before I realized Star Wars, Return of the Jedi, and The Empire Strikes Back had anything to do with each other.  I more or less knew that Star Wars had Luke and Leia and Darth Vader.  I knew that The Empire Strikes Back had Ewoks and I thought they were pretty cute.  Yes, I was a child of the 80s, but I had only seen bits and pieces of them, so I didn't realize any of the characters were the same.  My now-husband was mortified and couldn't believe it.  I guess that could be another fact:  I married a complete geek.  Only that's a geeky fact, so it doesn't work for a non-geek fact.  Anyway, moving on now.

Fact number 2 in my non-geek repertoire . . .
It was like I hit a brick wall.

Time for a change of theme, let's go back to the geek-related facts since I already have two that sort-of fit.

Number 3: (after days and days of thought) Philo T. Farnsworth, the inventor of television was best friends with my grandfather's oldest brother.

Number 4: (This is getting a little easier.)  I once won a game of Star Wars Trivial Pursuit with a friend against our husbands.  That should be permanent membership into the geek club right there.
Number 5: My oldest daughter takes after her dad and has completely embraced geek-dom. I've been pulled along into that world whether I wanted to or not. She introduced me to the Doctor Who series.  We recently found out that the Doctor Who universe is just a few steps away from us.  My sister-in-law went to a year of elementary school with Jenna-Louise Coleman (this season's new companion).
Number 6: Because of my love for Doctor Who, I was just as excited as the kids were to find the TARDIS parked in a nearby back yard.

Number 7: Somehow my husband and I started watching the Firefly series.  I immediately fell in love and am still sorely disappointed that they only had one season and a movie.  There is so much more just dying to be told.

Number 8:  This one is more of another non-geek fact.  I tried to dissuade The Artist from getting an Avengers lunch box, thinking it was too juvenile.  She disagreed and I figured she was the one that was carrying it around the high school every day.  Apparently she's had many people comment on how cool it is.  I guess I'm out of touch when it comes to geeky coolness.

Number 9: I learned just the other day that not all Bat-symbols are the same.  Who knew?
Number 10: Finally, the last and possibly most important geeky fact about me: even my last name is geeky.  It's Batman with an "e" in the middle.