Happy Birthday to Me

It was my birthday over the weekend, and I’ve been blessed with some really amazing family and friends.  The actual day was on Saturday and my boys treated me to breakfast and took me out to dinner.  I spent the day with extended family on Sunday, and on Monday I hung out with my girlfriends for dessert.  It was a great way to celebrate getting older.

One of the gifts I received was an amazing macro lens for my camera.  I’ve wanted a macro for a very long time, but the price had me not seriously considering it for a while.  I was very, very surprised to receive one as a gift. It’s well beyond my skill-level, so I have lots of learning to do, but I wanted to share a few pictures I’ve taken.

some of my metal stamps


tiny pink flowers

tiny bee

rain drops on grass

I am so excited about the potential to get really nice pictures of my jewelry. I love being able to take pictures of nature too. And it’s supposed to be a fantastic portrait lens.

I have some books coming from the library that I hope I’ll be able to use to learn more about using this type of lens well.  I am definitely having fun with the practice shots!

Sunday Brunch

I see this sort of thing all over the Internets, the weekly blog post of all the other interesting things in the blogging world.  One of my bloggy friends (Angry Julie Monday) started a weekly post of her five favorite posts from the week, and I think that’s a fantastic idea. I like seeing what everyone is doing, but at the same time, I don’t have the time to visit everyone’s blog.

So here you have it, the posts that I liked this week. I only have four this week, but I have other blogs I need to add to my reader, so maybe there will be five next week.

1. Artbeads.com Blog for Beaders

Swarovski Spring 2010 Color Trends

This is a fantastic post about the colors for Spring (I’m assuming this spring even though the post says 2011), and matching them up with Swarovski crystals and pearls.  I thought it was a great resource because it also includes complimentary colors.  Well done artbeads.com!

2. Strobist: Learn How To Light

After the Light: High-Pass Post Production

I like reading Strobist, but for the life of me, about 80% of it goes right over my head.  One day I hope to have any idea what they guy is talking about. ;) But I thought this brief Photoshop tutorial was pretty easy to understand and useful.

3. Oopsy Daisy Photography Blog

{She . Reads}

I loved her quote at the beginning, and the photos reminded me to work more at my perspective and depth of field.  A simple, but great post.

4. Inspirational Beading

Inspiration Tip: A Deck of Many Things

This post was one of those “ah ha” moments for me.  A tip so simple, and yet, just outside the realm of what I would have thought to do. She’s a jewelry designer, but I think many others could benefit from this tip as well.  I’ll give a hint; it’s about keeping track of your many ideas.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little trip around the blogs I’ve highlighted this week. I hope to be able to gather some other fun posts for next week.  Thanks again to Angry Julie Monday for the idea!

Day 147

For Christmas a couple of years ago, I asked for and was so excited to receive a specialized lens for my DSLR. The reading I did on it explained that it was a macro lens and was good for portrait photography. I put it on the camera for about a month, and for the life of me, I could not get it to do what I wanted. It has sat in my camera bag for over two years, and it’s been bugging me.

Recently, I read a blog post about how to get blurry backgrounds. I was so excited to read about this because it’s one of those things that’s really nice to be able to do when you photograph children. They have this uncanny ability to be running in front of your unfolded laundry, their toys, and all sorts of other distracting things in their pictures.

As I read the post, I realized that I had this lens sitting around that would be perfect for this particular desire of blurry backgrounds. To practice my technique, I took the DSLR out to Paul’s t-ball practice this afternoon and just played around with taking pictures. I’m really, really happy with the results.

Day 146

For about four years now, I’ve been kind of looking for a new toothbrush holder. The one we received as a wedding gift does not have openings large enough to accommodate the wide handles of little toothbrushes. Now that we need to fit two little toothbrushes, I figured it was time to really look for one.

I was lucky today when I went to the store because I found a holder that coordinates really well with our newer cup and soap dispenser. The best part was that it was on clearance, so I paid about $3 for a ceramic toothbrush holder.

I also used this as an opportunity to play around a little bit with my “new” macro lens.

Day 128

The Curious George exhibit at the Children’s Museum was wrapping up it’s several month stay this weekend. We had meant to go and even considered getting a membership because Paul likes George so much. But somehow we never made it. My sister-in-law mentioned the close of the exhibit at the concert last night and offered to bring us as guests on their membership.

The cousins had a great time playing around the museum for hours. We ended up having to drag them away (almost literally kicking and screaming). It really was a lot of fun for all four boys.

This photo was taken not long after we got into the special exhibit for Curious George. While it was not my intention at all to set the focus the way it turned out, I still really loved the results. I hope one day I can start working away from being the accidental photographer.