Saturday, April 30, 2011

X, Y and Z!

OK, the last three! All together I know.. crazy week.

X is for.. well, X. Like the shape. A little acro yoga for you. I went for the first time last night. Believe it or not, this is the very FIRST pose you learn.

Y is for Yellow

yeah yeah.. I kinda fail at this sort of picture. I'll try again some time. But not tonight.


zzzz... man I'm tired. This challenge is definitely going out with a whimper. But I have enjoyed following new blogs, having new commenter and in general being part of this craziness. See you next month!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

W is for Wet Mess

Nono.. not like THAT.

We bought a fixer-upper so we could get a bigger house that we otherwise could afford... but the fixing has been at a crawl. First I had a baby. Then right as I got to where I felt like I could handle working on the house more again, ops.. pregnant again. Ok, not oops, we planned to have them close together but didn't exactly expect it to happen that fast. Now second baby is one and we're back to really working on the house again.

Today was "try to match the ceiling texture where we took off the fake beams" day. Wow was it a wet mess.

The strip furthest away is the wet mud where we were trying to match the texture-- it dries white.

Our handy dandy friendly handyman friend surveying his work

Tomorrow, more of the same trying some more to match and get them all looking right.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

V is for Vice

I'll let you interpret it however you want...

All images copyright Cindy Chapter 2011

.. and yes, I know I'm a day behind....  See you tomorrow!

Monday, April 25, 2011

U is for Umbrella

Kids LOVE umbrellas. I don't know what it is about them.. Here in Austin it hasn't rained in what seems like months, so my pictures will have to be umbrellas in the sun.

The "keep the babies from frying" umbrella fort
My favorite from this park trip

Sunday, April 24, 2011

T is for Texture

Texture is one of those things I haven't really messed with in my photography. In my graphic design, yes, because I like a little texture on blank spaces but usually I like my photography to stand alone. For T though, I challenged myself to try to apply texture to an image or two effectively.

Here is my original:

Here it is with a vignetted vintage paper

A weathered painted metal

and peeling paint (super transparent because it made the skin look really weird otherwise)

Just because I was having fun, here's me and the younger critter also with the vignetted paper. It does make an interesting vintage effect.

What do you think? Do you like photos with added texture? Do you find it gimmicky? Do you like it but just not what I do with it? (that's ok! Be honest!)

That's it for "T".. see you tomorrow with "U"

Saturday, April 23, 2011

S is for...


Did you know that some people think taking collodial silver can keep you from getting sick and heal any number of diseases? It  can also turn you permanently grey! I have bad enough luck with medical side effects, I don't think I'll ever try it!

sushi--- mmmm sushi.... had sushi last night. It was nom-erriffic.


Sweet potato Sprouts

Sweet potatoes are super easy to sprout, and one potato can make enough sprouts to grow a bunch of plants.

Here's how I did these

1. Find a sweet potato that has been neglected a bit too long in the pantry. Make sure it has a few sprouts already.
2. Chop it up into about 6 pieces
3. Let the pieces dry out for a few days (depends on the humidity level... make sure they aren't wet to the touch before planting them)
4. Plant them in a shallow container of potting soil until the sprouts are big with roots coming off of them

5. Twist the sprouts off and plant! I got almost a dozen plants out of mine.

I planted mine in some pots on my patio because I was feeling cheap this year but wanted lots of green growing things. Obviously I won't get any harvest-able potatoes out of these small pots, but the foliage looks nice, and it's a lot cheaper than commercially grown sweet potato vines at over a buck a plant.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Egg hunt fun!

We hosted an Easter Egg hunt this morning for a group of kids. I had each parent bring 2 eggs per kid and asked that they be labeled. In hindsight the labeling was a bad idea for mostly two year olds..  but I wanted to make sure each kid got one of the little egg crafts I made.

I made some tree-hanging eggs-- with little "leaf" labels... though these would be more recommended for either younger kids with moms helping, or older kids who can remove them without ripping off the leaves.

...and I made flower eggs. I love these, and they were fairly fast and fun to make
I wouldn't have wanted to make more than one per kid though because they did take a bit of time.


A bit off topic for the A-Z challenge, but I wanted to share the idea before Saturday's easter egg hunts.... and this is supposed to be a craft blog after all!

R is for...

Rabbit, ribbit, roll, right, rivet, river, ride, really, read, rhyme...

Red, Ripe Raspberries!

Yummy luscious tasty juicy berries.

Do you like raspberries?
My memories of berries, both raspberries and blackberries involve picking them at my Aunt's house on the eastern shore of Maryland... staining my fingers with the juices and knocking Japanese beetles off of the bushes.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q is for


.. just outside of Austin in Cedar Park there is going to be a new water park that sounds awesome, made in an old quarry. I cannot wait to take my girls there. They will have the spouts hidden in the natural looking rocks.



Time to be random and irrelevant
I found one of those old Myspace surveys and filled it out:

1. If you were to attend a costume party tonight, what or whom would you go as?
A fairy or a wench ;) sinc ei already have those costumes

2. What are your choice of toppings on a hamburger? And do you prefer gas or charcoal grilling?
Charcoal grilled with cheese and a little steak sauce

3. You are chosen to have lunch with the President. The condition is you only get to ask one question. What do you ask?
Something completely random I'm sure... I'm not very political

4. It's your first day of vacation, what are you doing?
Taking a long walk through the area to see what there is to explore

5. What is your concession stand must-have at the movies?
Gummi Bears

6. Which do you dislike most: pop-up ads or spam email?

7. What do you think Captain Hook's name was before he had a hook for a hand?

8. Rock, paper, or scissors?

9. How long was it from 'the first date' until the proposal of marriage? How long until the wedding?
There was never a real proposal... we decided to get married for insurance reasons

10. Which is worse, being in a place that is too loud, or too quiet?
Too loud

11. What is one quality that you really appreciate in a person?

12. At the good old general store, what particular kind of candy would you expect to be in the big jar at the counter?

13. What is the most distinguishing landmark in your city?
The Texas state capital building

14. Everyone hears discussions that they consider boring. What topic can put you to sleep quicker than any other?

15. How many times did it take you to pass your drivers test?

16. If you had to have the same topping on your vanilla ice cream for the rest of your life, what topping would you choose?

17. What food item would need to be removed from the market altogether in order for you to live a healthier, longer life?
Red Bull O.O

18. You are offered an envelope that you know contains $50. You are then told that you may either keep it or exchange it for another envelope that may contain $500 or may be empty. Do you keep the first envelope, or do you take your chances with the second?
Take my chances 

19. If you had to choose, which would you give up: cable TV, or DSL/cable internet?
We've already given up cable TV

20. What is your highest level of education? Bachelor's Degree

21. How much is a gallon of gas in your city? What was the highest it's been?
Something like $3.57. Yikes! Makes me glad I drive a little Protege 5

22. What kind of lunch box did you have as a kid?

23. What would you rather have, a nanny, a housekeeper, a cook, or a chauffeur?
Easy--- a housekeeper! I'd rather have someone else clean up than someone else take care of the girls. 

24. Would you rather be trapped in an elevator, or stuck in traffic?
Stuck in traffic

25. Lets say a brick fell on your foot, and your kid is standing right next to you, what is your 'cleaned up' swear word?
MRRFFFUUUOOOWWWWWWW-- yeowch.  (yes really)

Was that enlightening? No? I didn't think so. Sorry guys... busy week isn't allowing as much photography exploration as I wanted. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

P is for...

Pregnancy and Poverty

Falling off my thread of happy for one post.

I read a lot of blogs about BIRTH. The options, and how the US system is doing it wrong. There's finger pointing everywhere.

How dare you have a hospital/home/birth center birth! Don't you know the baby is going to be stressed/induced/tortured/given unnecessary exams/shots/homeopathic remedies! You might need stitches/be induced/have a C section/tear/hemorrhage/be given a vaginal exam/be looked at  by more people that you'd like/only have one person there!

All over the world though, women have NO choice. No choice, and no education.

This video really touched me this morning.
In fact, it made me cry (I'm not a crying type). All with words and music. There are no photos at all in it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

O is for...


Is it just me that thinks orchids close up look a little creepy sometimes?

See those incisors?

What do you think?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

M is for


That's all I've been today is a mommy. Mommy is losing her marbles, with two crazy kids.

The toddler has been telling me she has to climb on her baby sister "Because I'm a dolphin, mommy."

The baby hasn't been sleeping well, I'm blaming it on teething like I usually do.

In high school a friend handed me a marble and said to be  careful with it, because it was her last one. I promised I would. I think I still have that marble. I think I should go try to find it. I'll be needing it.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

L is for...


My beautiful firstborn daughter. A very abbreviated trip through the last few years.

 This is a very picture heavy post. Also, if you're curious about how I did my kaleidoscope pics from yesterday's post, the info on that is at the bottom of the page so if you're interested in that and don't care about pictures of my daughter.. just scroll on down.

Here she is, fresh and brand new-- taken with my camera phone while I was still stuck in bed postpartum.

Two or three months old--- we think the kitten is the same age as she is.

(the first two are pre-dSLR purchase)

Just scooting---

At the park, loving the swing

threatening other kids with sticks -- ok not really, she just loves sticks (13 months)

Digging in our neighbor's garden

Refusing to wear her swimsuit

and goofing off with dandelions

And as a follow up to yesterday's post-----

Since I've been asked how I did the kaleidoscope pictures... I used photoshop and this tutorial here:

Then, for the first one, I made three of the patterns and shrank one and put it in the middle (there was a ton of empty space in the middle) and blew one up to 200% and put it behind the middle one (to get the square shape)

The second one I blew a layer up to 200% and liked it enough that I left it at that

The third and fourth ones I did the layer at 200% behind the main image.

Let me know if you have any questions about that.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

K is for...


I've seen pictures manipulated to get that kaleidescope look about them before.. so the challenge seemed like a good excuse to play a little.

Here's my first attempt.
Sort of neat, but I can do better.

Here are the other two

The last one is a double whammy of K's.. Kids and Kaleidescope.

Oh  no, these are addictive! I added this one tonight

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

J is for...

Juggalo (hahahaha... if you don't know, don't ask...)

hey.. maybe I'll

So, one of my big reasons for doing the challenge was to motivate myself to try some things I have been meaning to try for a while. Fun jumping pictures was one of them. Turns out that I tend to look completely doofy when I jump though, and have trouble not having a look of extreme concentration on my face at all times. Hah.

But hey, I jumped. Here's the evidence.

Fun times!

Monday, April 11, 2011

I is for...


My beautiful second daughter.

She just turned one recently

She was a  month early and only 5 pounds when newborn

... and at 6 months.
Oh, that thing on her face? That looks like a huge blood blister? That's called a Hemangioma, or strawberry mark. Thanks to much internet research and hunting down the proper doctor, it's almost gone now. A recent treatment option was discovered a few years ago, when a doctor realized children treated with Propanolol (a beta blocker) had their hemangiomas shrink  and in some cases disappear. For some children they go away by age 3, but with where that one is I wanted to do what I could in the least invasive way possible.

 I never photoshop them out of my images of her, because it is a part of her.  Honesty in photography is important to me.

About 8 months old (helping me with my Halloween costume)

My goofy cutie.