12/31/11

Window Shopping

…when all the shops are closed and the streets are quiet.

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12/29/11

New Year Sale in the Shop

Just want to let you in on a sale I am having to celebrate the coming New Year. From now until January 15th, 2012, all photographs are 20% off {prices are marked in the shop accordingly}. Thanks for all the love in 2011. Happy New Year!

SALE WHITE BUTTERFLY LEAF LARGE

12/27/11

New Toys

We don’t normally brave the stores on Boxing Day~ we’re not ones for mass consumer chaos. But my husband and I both had gift cards burning holes in our pockets, and we already had plans for what to buy with them. So, off to the camera store (for me to buy a macro lens) and then to the music store (for him to buy a midi keyboard). So far we’ve been having lots of fun with our new toys, and I look forward to discovering a new point of view and sharing it with you!

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12/26/11

How we spent our weekend

We slept in, ate too much, and laughed a lot. We had a few epic failures in the kitchen, but mostly delicious messes were made. We continued the second annual multi-generational family tradition of trying on fake mustaches (which also make great uni-brows). The snow came through for us just in time, and we spent a lot of time quietly watching the birds and also narrating their antics at the kitchen window. After it was all over, we walked through the empty streets while the snow was still falling.

{Hope you had a wonderful Christmas too.}

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12/18/11

Tiny Footprints

from the Juncos hopping around in the backyard.

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12/17/11

One week before Christmas…

I honestly don’t know where the hours go but I swear I have been busy doing Christmasy things in my “spare” time. Herein lies proof:

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Above are the makings of Gingerbread houses that I started this week. I was feeling pretty ambitious at the time but we’ll see if they actually get assembled. I have some dough left over and a plan.

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My brother came over last night and we attempted to make Sugared Jelly Candies. On the left is an Apple-Orange Spice one and the other is a Mulled Red Wine and Cranberry. We adapted them from a recipe found online but they gave us some trouble setting, and I had to re-melt them this morning. I am now worried that they will stick to the paper…. You would think between us (a baker and a chef) we could figure these things out!

12/11/11

Days 9,10 and 11: Christmas Tree

Just popping in to say that the tree is up and decorated. We picked it out at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday and it has added a certain ambience and a lovely pine aroma to our living room. I have  yet to figure out the camera settings for Christmas tree lights and ornaments (any tips appreciated) but I always have fun with bokeh effects. Click here to see pictures from last year.

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This afternoon I made Gingerbread cookie dough so that when I get the chance during the week I can easily roll it out and maybe make some little houses. We also mailed a big stack of packages at the post office today. Hope they get there in time!

12/10/11

Scarlet

There is a pair of House Finches who visit our feeder. They are shy, and flee as soon as they see me at the window. This is the best distance I could get with my camera; the images are not very crisp and I had to crop them. But this little red bird would look perfect on a Christmas card.

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12/8/11

Days 5-8: Hibernating and Birds in Flight

I was hoping to do something every day and write a post but I have just been so busy at work that I haven’t had much energy left for extracurricular activities. The good news is that the weekend is coming up soon and my finger hasn’t been holding me back, so I hope to have some little projects lined up. I’ll get the tree up this weekend if it’s the last thing I do.

We had some good light early this morning and I was able to take some photos on my way in to work. A small flock of starlings was swirling back and forth between the trees and power lines. I’ll wear my better lens tomorrow and see if I can get some closer ones. I’ve cropped some below so you can see their silhouettes in flight.

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The light was pink and golden in this spot on the way home, but I had no time to stop. Maybe tomorrow I won’t feel so rushed.

Enjoy your weekend!

12/5/11

Day Four: Snowflake Embroidery

Yesterday I started embroidering little white snowflakes onto some off-white linen (for Christmas tree ornaments).  I also knitted for awhile (I’m working on a green scarf for nobody specific yet). I had a little bit of relaxation inspiration from the cat, who showed me how Sundays (and every other day that ends in Y) are meant to be spent.

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I planned to finish my stitching this evening and watch a Chirstmas movie for Day Five. While I was preparing dinner I sliced my finger pretty badly so I had to deal with that instead. By then I still had some computer work to do, and stitching is difficult when your middle finger looks like a giant Q-tip…

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PS: It’s supposed to snow tonight!

12/4/11

Autumn in December

My first real photowalk since starting Getting through the Grey felt like more of a cheat than a challenge. I didn’t have to squeeze it in; Saturdays are usually a blank canvas for me. And this particular Saturday was especially spectacular, weather-wise. No grey to get through, just pure blue skies. 

And it just occurred to me that three quarters of December is actually still Autumn.

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moose truck

Part of my challenge is feeling self-conscious as I take photos in public. It is a weird feeling as though I am taking something that doesn’t belong to me, whereas out in the woods, my photography feels more private. In my mind I repeated a new mantra for this self-consciousness: I am invisible. I am invisible. Then a lady stopped me on the street, and grinning from ear to ear asked me what I was taking pictures of. She seemed really interested in what I was doing so I politely chatted with her. It didn’t help that we crossed paths again about 10 blocks later and she joked that she was stalking me! LOL… 

I would love to know your thoughts on this. Do you ever feel strange out in public with your camera? What about taking photos of people on the street?

12/3/11

Day Three: Shop Local

One of the things I did today was a walk around town to some local shops. The Urban Craft Market was on, so I stopped in to see what that was all about. It’s a great location (Holland and Wellington) and gets lots of walk-in traffic; I may consider it in the future. It is open the first Saturday of every month.

I resisted the urge to spend all of my money on macaroons, and instead bought jars of preserves as gifts for a couple of people.

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A lot of little independent shops are popping up all over town, selling wonderful handmade things. Support your local entrepreneurs and artists this holiday season!

12/2/11

Day Two: Small Pleasures

I put the kettle on and poured myself a cup of Murchie’s Christmas Tea. It just arrived in the mail yesterday, and let me tell you, it tasted lovely. It’s a black tea with oranges, cinnamon and vanilla. Decadent. Every time I use my little blue teapot it feels like a little indulgent ritual. It holds just enough tea for me to have two cups, and I don’t usually have to share it because my husband prefers coffee.

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12/1/11

Day One: Pomander Balls

There are so many things I want to do over the holidays. So many things get forgotten or put off every year.

Day One of doing Christmasy things was going to be “Buy a Christmas Tree” but I couldn’t find our tree stand. It will have to wait for another day. Instead I made Pomander Balls.

I had just been to the grocery stores and bought a crate of clementines.

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I also had a huge jar of cloves for cooking (we’re hardcore around here, LOL).

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I got to work poking the cloves into the oranges.

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A little tip: if you can, use the cloves that still have the little ball attached at the head. They are easier on your thumbs (not as poky as the ones without it, although they are pretty too).

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The step I skipped was rolling the balls in a spice mixture, including orris root (which helps them dry out and prevents them from getting moldy). Find the ratio HERE.

Then tie them up with pretty ribbons.

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Drawing Again…

Over the weekend I had some idle time, so I started doodling in my notepad. At first I was just sketching some ideas for a friend who asked me to draw a picture for a little book she was putting together. Then they became stream-of-consciousness type drawings, and once I got started I really got into it. Ideas started pouring out of my mind onto the paper.

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Just thought I’d pop in and share this. That’s all for now.

~C

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