Sunday, February 28, 2010

Project 365, Week 8

Hello Sweet Readers,

This is a picture-heavy post. I was doing all kinds of experimentation with my camera this week. The above post was taken on Monday, the 22nd, in front of our local library. I was trying to get the starburst effect, but it was at mid-day, so it's a bit bright. I like it, though, and you can see the pink of the blossoms on the tree, though it's subtle.

Ok, so I was also practicing getting photos large on the blog. I love the photo above, and, based on my hubby's comments about the hundreds of photos I took this week, I think it's his favorite. It was taken on Tuesday, February 23, as were the following two.


How sweet are these cuties? They did so well taking these photos. Sweet J above is a natural little model. And even though she is young, sweet A got into it after awhile. It was just harder to keep her standing still.


On Wednesday, the 24th, these cows came to meet me. Did you catch the post that same day? Check it out. Very fun. I was playing with post-processing again and liked this effect.


On the 24th, I started playing with shutter speed. I was trying to get this little hummingbird to stop for you. It's kind of hard to catch him, and I didn't have my tripod, but I do love his red neck and green body. They are beautiful creatures, aren't they?

On the 25th, I enlisted my kiddos to help me with this shutter speed experiment. I love how it looks. It makes me want Spring to come even faster! (BTW, the little helpers helped themselves to most of the product...these were the BEST strawberries!)



The 26th was a big weather day. Crazy rainy in the morning, crazy, beautiful, amazing skies in the evening. Check it out. Oh, first check out the cool dead end sign. If you like signs, it's cool. If you are like my hubby, you can have no comment.


This one was in the morning, after kiddo drop-off, post-edited, but I love the colors.

This one is my favorite. Check out the skies. Both the one in full view and the one in the rear view mirror. They were so different and changed by the minute.


There was even a rainbow hanging out on the horizon.


February 27th. Just getting some shots of my oldest outside after the rain stopped. Sheesh, this picture makes him look old. Except for the holes in his pants. He has holes in most of his pants, by the way. Who has time to sew when you are taking pictures and making cupcakes. LOL. If you are reading this sweet hubby, I'm just kidding :)


And more shutter speed fun. Panning. First time ever trying this. I need some more practice, but I love the concept! And my model likes the fact that he is moving soooo fast!


February 28th - Can't believe it's March tomorrow!! Okay. Here is another example that I'm not quite my baking self. Do you see the cupcakes on the left? Do you see the ones on the right? Do they look different to you? Well, they are. They are both my dark chocolate cupcakes. They were both baked from scratch and they both took the same effort. What is the difference? Because, frankly, the ones on the left look better to me, but the ones on the right taste waaayyyy better. The difference, my friends, is sugar. Plain and simple sugar. The ones on the left, which strangely baked in half the time they were supposed to, don't have one grain of sugar in them. That's right. Forgot it. Completely.

I did the whole batch over, and gave my sweet sons a taste test after dinner. They were both frosted and they were both actually liked! Of course, they liked the second one (the one with the sugar) the best, but I think they would have been fine with only the first. Of course, it was topped with sweet sweet buttercream and sprinkles, but who's counting?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Through the Lens

Hi Sweet Readers,

Seems this has been me a lot lately. I have been looking through this lens so much. I've been learning a lot about how my camera works, how my software works, and how it all plays together. I love it. And at times it is frustrating.

Thanks for coming back to view my images and allowing me to share.

This shot was taken in my rear view mirror. My friend Mindy did a really neat self portrait in her rear view mirror, without the camera. It was really cool, and that is what I was aiming for, but it just wasn't working for me in the time frame I had. So here's me, with camera.

Don't worry, I'll be baking again soon. Do you miss the sweets? At least my face doesn't make you hungry! I'm saving you calories, right?

Have a great weekend. Show your loved ones you love them in a special way. It's also calorie-free. Unless baking is one way you show people you love them, like me :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

'Til the Cows Come Home...

Hi Sweet Readers!

I have been wanting to get this sweet little calf with her mommy for a long time. Today I pulled over to the side of the road after dropping my younger son at school and thought I would do so. Well, I only had my 50mm with me and they were too far away, so there went that plan. But these two fellas were closer. And when I got out and started shooting them, they started running over to me! It was pretty funny. Their little dog friend was going nuts, so I had to shoot fast before their little farmer friend came out to send me away, but I got them in their travels. I think they were expecting some goodies and one made a sound of disappointment after awhile.

Here's the storyboards. Sorry they are so small. Any tips on getting them bigger would be much appreciated! When I made the collage in picnik, it was much larger.

Have a great rest of your week!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Project 365, Week 7

Hello Sweet Readers!
Here is the latest installment of my daily photo project. I am learning more and more about photography and my own camera through this and it's really fun. The photo above is February 15th. A beautiful day here and the cherry blossoms are going crazy!
Sweet J the same day. This sweet beauty was just enjoying lunch with her adoring brother. The little crumbs on her lips remind me of how sweet he was to feed her some of his lunch.


The day I took this photo, Feb. 16, I thought these were just weeds. Turns out they are mustard fields and they consumed much of my time the remainder of the week.

Here is my younger son on the 17th. Stuck him in the mustard fields to take some photos that morning on our way to Jamba for some yummy oatmeal. My friend Kimberly is a master at this and she inspired me. Check out her photography blog if you have time. She captures beauty. http://www.kimberlydunnphotography.com/

This was also in the mustard on the 17th. Sweetness! They are all over the place.

February 18th. Back in the mustard. I dragged my other son and my dear friend's daughter this time. The lady bugs visited, too. The photos above and below are from the same day.

February 19th - More blooming going on in Sacramento. I was loving the early Spring. It seems the rain is returning though. Bummer.

February 20th. I took some photography classes today. They were very helpful in terms of digital information. There is sooo much going on in my camera that it will take a long time for me to get everything right for every shot. I like experimenting and practicing, though. The shot below is of some bushes in my back yard. I love these fringe flowers they produce this time of year.
February 21 - My kids washing their dad's car in the rain, or at least impending rain. Gotta love it. They had to pull the car in the garage while drying it so as not to defeat the entire purpose.



Same day. Love reading my bible. Honestly, it is one of those things that when I sit down to do it, I wonder why it took me so long to get there. It's so rewarding and it changes the entire day. Why do I so often put it off until other things are done? Yet another thing to work on...

I hope you have a great week!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

World Peace Cookies

Hello Sweet Readers,

I hope your week has gone well. These are some cookies that I made last month. I haven't been able to post them due to other posts, but here they are now.

And they are on my new little pedestal I bought at Sur La Table with some birthday money. Isn't it so cute!? I really love that it singularly displays some yummy treats. Don't you love it?

These cookies were incredible. They were just about perfect. I got the recipe out of Dorie Greenspan's book "Baking" and she did it just right. They are chocolaty, chewy, just the right sweetness and all with a hint of salt! They are crisp around the edges and just plain yummy!

Originally I was going to post them around Valentines Day so I also displayed them on this plate. Love is always around, though, so here they are anyway.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mom's Sunset



Here's another photo of my momma's sunset. (see this post for the after sundown sunset: http://smileyssweetsandcreations.blogspot.com/2010/02/project-365-week-4.html) I took this one right before it set and the colors were beautiful. I boosted the contrast on this one for some added color, but it was so lovely in person. A gift from God!
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Project 365, Week 6 - Sweets In This Post :)

Hello Sweet Readers,

Here is the latest edition of Project 365. I'm wondering if any of you are doing the project? Let me know if you are, I'd love to follow your journey!


February 8
This day would have been my mom's 67th birthday. We miss her so much. To top off all the grief, my sweet David developed a rash on his face and before we left for our drive back up north, we made a stop at urgent care. Not the best of days, but at least I can say he has healed now. Turns out, he had spread some lotion on his face and pretended to shave with it. Not with a real blade or anything...he just had a reaction to the lotion.

February 9

My sweet friend Peggy brought us some comfort food the day after we got back from the funeral. I was so touched and the pot pie and other goodies was just perfect for us. We all loved it and were so appreciative. We have some really great friends. So blessed...


February 10


I keep driving by this field of weeds just blooming out of control. I had to stop and take some photos of the beauty within the weeds. They all look so grand from a distance. Close-up is pretty nice, too.



February 11


These two pics are of the sunrise this day. It was beautiful.


The following are some flowers in our yard. Spring is springing here. Some plants are trying to go for it. Love these flowers..looking forward to more!

I played with the pic below in Photoshop. I like the moody effect. What do you think?



February 12


This is Jack's cake and cuppies. He opted for a pirate theme. The cake is chocolate layered with vanilla buttercream and drenched in ganache. I hand cut the pirate out of fondant. I used a mold for the chocolate treasure box, but didn't have time to search a million places for chocolate coins and had to go with plastic. The cuppies are red velvet topped with ganache and buttercream. The toppers are candy, but I didn't make them, Michael's did.
February 13

These two photos of are of Jack on his 7th birthday. We had a very fun celebration with some friends at the bowling alley. The kiddos all loved the pirate-themed glow ball. Jack loved all his gifts and was one happy pirate!

February 14


My sweet Valentine. Notice anything peculiar? How about the fact that he has half a beard! He has been growing one for a bit, but it was time to shave it off. The boys like him to do interesting and funny things with it when he does it. So, as a great dad, he obliges. So here is my sweet hunny with half a beard. :) (I am so lucky to have a man who looks gorgeous even with half a beard!)

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