Thursday, March 31, 2011

March Mosaic

90/365 - Mud people flamenco

Digging through my travel stuff to find the masks, I came across these little guys. They're mud dolls from Spain. You can find them "doing" just about anything from daily Spanish life. They are so ugly they're cute. ;)

89/365 - Masks 5 - end of theme

I think I'm done with this theme, for a while. I just found out that the theme for Prom is "Masquerade". There will be more mask pictures to come I'm sure.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

88/365 masks 4 -Leaf cutters

Okay...I gave in a little and tried something new in Gimp. I've used it in the past, but mainly to remove backgrounds. This time I tried some layers, rotating, erasing, and who knows what all.

I bought this mask in Costa Rica. I wanted to use a different background photo from the trip, but as I was looking for it I came across this one. These little leaf cutter ants were pretty amazing. They were parading across our path so, of course I had to stop and take some pics. Anyway, I saw this photo and thought "hmm...wonder if I could make it look like they are hauling the mask."

I'm not even sure what all I did to these two photos. I still have tons to learn and it shows. It definitely looks like student work, but I'm okay with that for now.

Monday, March 28, 2011

87/365-Masks 3 - Inka

“Sacrificing your happiness for the happiness of the one you love, is by far, the truest type of love.”-unknown author

Sunday, March 27, 2011

86/365 - masks 2- a Wilde one

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. Oscar Wilde

85/365- The masks we wear

I recently started playing the latest version of my favorite computer game, Virtual Villagers. In this version they discover a tribe that wears masks. At one point in the game, the reason is revealed. After a great loss, "we retreated into the jungle and into a despair so deep and suffocating that we lost all hope. We stopped believing in the island, in any guiding force. We stopped even believing in ourselves, and so we covered our faces with hideous masks. We were truly lost."
This hits a nerve. I have a collection of both literal and figurative masks.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

82/365- quick and boring post

I got behind on a few things so I've been busy catching up. That led to the "catch-all" basket picture.
I had some technical difficulties tonight. Sorry for the late post.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

81/365 - Sailor's delight

Mom always says "A red sky in morning is a sailor's warning. Red sky at night, sailor's delight"
I'm not a sailor, but this did delight me. I pulled a crazy, Melissa style, U-y to go back and get this. :) Thankfully, there was no traffic. By the time I got turned around and stopped, the clouds had shifted and the view was a little different from the other side of the road. But, I like how the top part of the sun is covered and sky looks upside down compared to the landscape.

Monday, March 21, 2011

80/365 - bungees

I went to dad's shop today to take care of some business and visit with the parents a bit. After dinner (jack in the box tacos, yum!), I headed into the garage to take some pics. I took a ton, but I settled on these. Some times I wonder if this is what's still holding Dad together after 30 years of being self-employed.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

79/365 the envelope, please

I've been wanting to do this photo for a while now. My dear friend posted on FB once that she felt "enveloped in gold". So, that gave me this idea.
I spray painted a white envelope, printed out an old photo, and dumped gold glitter everywhere. I had it lit from the top, but I should have moved the light to the side I think. overall I like it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

78/365 stick it to me

Ever have one of those days that isn't bad, just irritating. Yep that's today. Seems like everything I tried to do was thwarted somehow. Nothing big or devastating, just little nuisances,and a lot of them. For example, this is photo attempt number 5. Not the 5th frame, the fifth subject and set up. I gave up and grabbed some gum.

77/365 - hard drive

Yippee! Thank God for Friday, payday, and income tax returns! After a seriously long deep nap, I headed to the store for this baby. its a 2 terabyte external hard drive. I'm so excited. I don't have to delete pictures any more! Well, there are the obvious ones that get deleted, but I was down to trashing ones I wanted to keep just to make room on the computer. Now, how do I hook it up? Better go find out!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

76/365 - Blonde joke

At the end of the work day, the blonde gets on the elevator to go home. There is a man already on the elevator so she greets him with a smile and says, "T.G.I.F!"

The man looks at her and with a frown on his face replies, "S.H.I.T."

The blonde gets upset and says, "Listen, I'm trying to be nice and tell you 'T.G.I.F. - Thank God It's Friday!'". The man responds, "Listen, Lady, I'm trying to be nice and tell you 'S.H.I.T. - Sorry, Honey, It's Thursday!'"
So I'm cheating a little here. I didn't take a photo today. ( :( first day I've missed) It's been a long week and I'm tired. I'm using some photos from the past few years that I keep for alphabet photography. Hope you don't mind.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

75/365-GG and Evie

Family night! My cousin and his family were in town for a little while today. I had a great time hanging with the fam, taking pictures, and going ga ga for the baby. She is so sweet and smiley!
I love watching GG with the little ones. She gets so excited over everything. She even let the two year old cover her head with the blankie to go "night-night" and play peek-a-boo. She'll be 80 next month and I swear these kids take 20 years off of her. She'll talk about tonight for weeks, I think.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

74/365 Sticky subject?

Can you guess what it is?







Now no cheating











Give up? It's a sweet gum ball. you know... from a tree. Those little things we slip on from time to time.

Well today was a long but decent day. We had parent teacher conferences tonight from 4-7. Actually, for me, A conference. as in one.
I took this picture on my break. I got me thinking about how sticky these little meetings can be. The one tonight went well. But sometimes you just never know how parents will react. There have been many that go as planned. Teachers sharing, parents sharing, we come up with a plan to help the student. We all walk away feeling like we have a little more insight and hope that things will change.
And then there are the others. The angry parent, the belligerent parent, the weeping parent, the worn out ones. Ones ready to blame, the ones ready to make every excuse for their child and themselves. The ones who have heard it all before, tried everything they can think of with the child, and have basically given up. Don't forget the teachers. We have days where we're tired, stressed out, and dare I say "cranky". We've talked all day and now we're talking more. We've made a million decisions (many split second) during they day and now we need to decide, working with you, the best way to help your child, when many times the child doesn't seem to want to help himself. We've been dealing with kid drama all day and now we aren't sure what to expect when we sit down with parents. More drama? We have to choose our words carefully and monitor our reactions and hope we (parents and teachers alike) all behave ourselves. Sometimes we don't. It's not pretty.
I guess my point is this: parents and teachers both feel uncertain when sitting down together. We all hope for answers, insights, and solutions. We all want the best for the child involved. And hopefully, like tonight, we can sit down, set the day's events and emotions aside, and focus on the child and their educational needs.

Monday, March 14, 2011

73/365 Scavenger hunt - Hard stuff

I did take a picture today. Again it was of students so I'm not going to post it. I don't feel like checking the photo release list for all the girls in the picture and, mainly, I just want to play with yesterday's scavenger hunt pics. :)

As promised, here are the "hard" photos. I took some liberties here because some of the other girls took the "official" photos. We all worked together to find and shoot the items on the list. If one of us managed to get the shot, we crossed it off. I think we did quite well working as a team.

1. a bridge that is NOT over water
2. 3 animals together
3. a barn that is about to collapse
4. a delicious dessert
5. a store window with a mannequin
6. a found penny (not from purse)
7. two people holding hands
8. a bicycle
9. a woman wearing a hat
10. twins
11. someone with facial hair
12. a musical instrument (bonus if someone playing it)
13. duck or any bird
14. signs of spring
15. something that looks like a letter of the alphabet, but no print
16. natural redhead (m or f)
17. little kids playing outside together
18. a woman with 3 inch or higher heels
19. a sign in a language other than English
20. a stray cat
21. a white picket fence
22. a celebrity
23. a daffodil
24. a rainbow or prism of some sort
25. a pink car.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

72/365 - The Yaya scavenger hunt

The Yaya's were at it again! This time, Melissa organized a super fun photo scavenger hunt. We each made a list of 5 easy things to find and 5 hard things. Then put the lists together. Though there are 8 girls in the group, only 5 of us could make it today. So (5+5)x5 = 50 items. We couldn't find them all (Thanks to Joi's pink car entry, whoever painted that picket fence yellow, and J's 3inch heels), but we had an awesome time looking, laughing, and lunching. Here is the easy list and collage. Tomorrow, I'll post the hard ones. But I think the best and funniest photo of the day is over on Melissa's blog.
Anyway here's the list:

1. something moving
2. someone pumping gas
3. a sculpture
4. a refreshment of some kind
5. an old person
6. a piece of litter
7. a telephone pole
8. someone talking on a phone
9. a red car
10. a baby
11. steps/stairs
12. stop light/sign
13. Something to sit on
14. a reflection
15. movie theater
16. hookah
17. purple dress
18. litter
19. SUV
20. a statue
21. a barn
22. gelato
23. playground toys
24. a church
25. a mailbox

Saturday, March 12, 2011

71/365 dominoes

I thought I should take a picture that didn't look like I was depressed or that my house is haunted. ;)

These were left overs from my Christmas crafts. I had the boys in the wood working class sand off the backs to make them smooth. You can still see some of the edges that I need to sand by hand. Maybe I'll get around to making more jewelery with them one day. Who knows.

Friday, March 11, 2011

70/365 - raised hands

I got this idea from flickr (not sure who the photographer was. I saw it a while back.) I like it because it can represent so many things, depending on how you wish to look at it. For example: it could be kids raising hands in class, someone trying to block the sun light, worshiping, sinking, reaching for help, wanting to be held, etc.

To take this shot I hung a white piece of cloth over the door frame. I used a halogen light on the bathroom counter behind the cloth. Set the camera in the hall on a tripod. set the settings and the timer. Then ran behind the curtain and posed. Then I played around in picnik and here you go.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

69/365 hallway

I couldn't think of something to take a picture of today. Then I remembered the list of ideas had something about hallways. It didn't turn out quite like I imagined, but its okay.

PS - today was much better. I had a little trouble with anxiety at lunch and shortly after. But, I took some meds and made it through the day. Now I'm just really tired.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

68/365 - dysfunctional

Sorry I didn't post last night. I did take a photo yesterday, but I don't want to post it. It was a snapshot of some students and I'm not sure I have all of their permission to publish it on the web.

Anyway, Here's today's post. Lately, and for no apparent reason other than normal stress, the panic attacks have returned with a vengeance. I had been doing relatively well controlling it. I'll get it back in check eventually. I hope. I have to. I can't keep missing work, like I did today. When things are like this I am dysfunctional, despite reason and meds. Every thing seems amplified, both literally with my hearing and figuratively with little things becoming huge issues in my head. I cannot concentrate, I feel like shit physically, and guilt and embarrassment flow like water. At least now, I know what it is and that it will pass. I have coping strategies and meditations (and medication, too) that help. I have previous successes and attack free periods to build on and give myself confidence. I haven't gone into "the cave" or been "stuck" in my house for quite some time. So, I'm still making progress and this just a relatively minor battle. Don't get me wrong, It sucks. It interrupts my life and very few people really understand it. I get really tired of dealing with this and feeling like a freak, but considering where I was and where I am now with it, this still isn't the worst series of attacks I've had.

Monday, March 7, 2011

66/365- Warning!

This can mean so many things, I'll let you decide. ;)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

65/365 - The landing

Being with the girls is so necessary sometimes. They're like chicken soup for my soul. So today a couple of of the shutterbug yayas and I headed to the landing. Aside from Melissa forgetting her camera ;), It was awesome strolling along, chatting, looking for a shot.
Paige was the ultimate Mardi Gras leftovers spotter! So fun, like a little scavenger hunt! She has a great eye for detail and for photography in general.
Look closely in the puddle reflection and you can see some beads.

Melissa was the helper/teacher/tutor. "come over here and get this", "might have better luck, if...", "DON'T TOUCH IT! Take a picture of it!" :)
It was great having someone there who knows their stuff to help. Loved it!
The best part... These ladies!!!!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

64/365 - self portrait

So, I guess its time for a self portrait. Without a shutter release, this is a bit challenging. I set up the drum, autofocused, then switched to manual focus. Set the timer, then run around the camera and drum. sit down, get positioned, and I hope I made it in ten seconds without bumping the tripod. Whew. Get up, look at the picture, make adjustments and do it again.
On the last photo I stuck a halogen flashlight inside the drum to light the head.

Friday, March 4, 2011

63/365-Blue 2

After seeing Melissa's version of "What the water gave me" and looking at a photo challenge called "Recreate the Masters" on the DPS site, I decided to give it a try.

I picked a simple painting by Joan Miro, a Spanish painter, called "Blue 2."

I glanced around for something to use for the dots and right here at the desk were some spare change and a red ink pen. I decided on that because I've been hearing that we're supposedly out of the recession. Not really seeing it. The state is completely in the red and can't pay schools. This week there were plenty of discussions at school about more teacher lay offs in the area and lack of funds for some things in our own district. Of course there are plenty of people talking about their own financial woes, too.
Anyway, here it is. My version of blue 2:

It's an okay pic. Right now I so emotionally and physically drained from a challenging week at school, that I don't really care if it sucks. ;) I'm just glad that the weekend is here, its a payday, and I can go to bed early.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


No. I was not arrested. These are props from a play. :)

For a while, one of the yaya's had a quote as her email signature. "A good friend will come bail you out of jail, but a true friend will be sitting next to you saying...'Damn, that was fun!"

I'm so happy that my Yaya's are these kind of friends. We've had A LOT of good times and some tough ones together. I know that when the chips are down, they'll be there. Even if it means jail after a shanking ;) So I'm giving my girls "props" for being who they are, being there, and just being awesome friends.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

61/365 - Pain and frustration

For my dear friend.
Sorry you're in pain and the doctors are so frustrating.

I hope you find some relief and some answers. SOON.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

60/365-Waiting for the storm to pass

Two nights ago I was pulled from bed by the tornado sirens going off. Still half asleep, I thought it was highway noise. I heard voices but thought it was the neighbor. When I realized what it was, I jumped out of bed. I went to check the weather on the Internet, no connection. Turned on the TV, no cable. The light flickered and I heard the the hail.
So to the innermost room of the house I went. I grabbed a pillow and the camera (can't have that blowing away in the wind!) on the way. I keep a small emergency kit in the linen closet that contains a radio/flashlight, emergency candles, blanket, and first aid kit. When the wind picked up and it sounded like things were hitting the house, I got into the tub, i guess for added protection. It blew over quickly, with no visual damage. The cable/Internet was out until some time the next day. Thank God nothing bad happened, it was just loud and scary.
I think the picture is crappy, but fitting. February seemed like a month of storms for the people around me (but, to my knowledge, not because of me). There were emotional and medical issues, martial problems and deaths of loved ones, financial woes and social sagas. There were even arrests made. Aside from my usual issues being slightly more frequent this month and being a little tight on money, my own life has been comparatively peaceful. I am grateful for that so I can be there for those around me. I do hope that spring, sunshine, and and the "peaceful lamb" come quickly. These wonderful people need no more "roaring lions". But in the mean time maybe I should light some more candles.