Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Photo Madness

In honor of my new camera and gear that just arrived last night (more on that later once I have photo evidence!), I thought I'd share some of my recent favorites from Flickr. It is incredibly inspiring just browsing through what other people, all over the world, are doing with their photography.

1. Untitled, 2. Regrets, I've Had a Few..., 3. Puppy Mocha Catches Some 'Air', 4. Overture, 5. Gamle Bybro (Trondheim, Norway), 6. baby eyes, 7. Dan and Dilmah, 8. sunset, 9. Autumn in Detroit, 10. hungrynowpleasepasstheturkeynowplease, 11. Below Zero, 12. Headphones 1., 13. THE LOVE SHACK's other side!!!, 14. decay-1, 15. Tá ficando atoladinho, tá ficando atoladinho., 16. Vashist-Himachal Pradesh, 17. The Carnival, 18. Broken Words, 19. Sunny, 20. Vigeland Park, 21. Flatbrehytta 4, 22. aker brygge, oslo, 23. Tiger Mountain, 24. Rooftops of Manchester, 25. Grandma Glass Detail 2

Gorgeous, que no?

And I know I've mentioned it before, but Etsy is seriously saving my ass this Christmas. For those of you who, like me, are trying to shop on a budget, I highly recommend it!! Like this gal that I recently discovered who makes gorgeous (and budget-friendly) jewelry - her earrings are especially lovely. Or this one who does eco-friendly and yummy looking soaps and other skin products. Why not get something unique? Plus, best of all, no crowds, no lines, no annoying drivers, nada! :)


Friday, November 16, 2007


It has truly been a whirlwind month! I can't believe we're almost upon Thanksgiving here...where did October go?? I'm exhausted, but also in a great state of mind from all the great things I've been up to since my last post.

Fire-y Experience

The effect of the wildfires here last month was incredible. Red, apocalyptic skies like this:
Gross, huh? We (including the pup) pretty much didn't leave the house unless we absolutely had to all week! Luckily our apartment was never in danger, but we were very close to the Santiago fire (just over the hill, really) and at times we had ash all over everything.

The biggest worry was my uncle's house in Rancho Bernardo, since it was in the thick of the action in San Diego. Luckily his house was okay, although Donna's daughter (now his stepdaughter, yay!) Jen was evacuated in the middle of the night since they were out of town. Poor girl! It was an especially big worry because of the wedding that was coming up, which we just had last weekend. Luckily everyone involved was okay and things are slowly getting back to normal down there.

Pushing My Boundaries

I am happy to report that I have joined my very first creative team, working for digital scrapbooking designer Penny Springmann! (You might have noticed the blinkie to the right, as it's been there for a few weeks now because I couldn't wait to share!) This is really exciting and flattering for me, because it not only means free products (woo!) but also that my hard work at improving my digiscrap skills is paying off. Penny is an awesome designer who recently started selling at Sweet Shoppe Designs, and thus far I'm loving this "job"! I had originally applied for a guest spot for the month of November, but she liked my work so much she asked me to become a permanent member.

For those of you not in the "industry" (haha), a creative team (aka CT) is a common practice among designers as a way of showing off and promoting their products. CTs will create several layouts each month using the designer's newest products and typically post them in several online galleries. Other duties vary, but it's a total win-win situation for everyone. Designers have a team to bounce ideas off of and help expand their business, and CT members get access to great products and also expand their skills and exposure to the process.

Here's a few pages I've done thus far with her products:

"Lil Pumpkin"
"Oak Glen"
"Just How Much"
and "Rock On"For credits and details, click here, here, here and here.

Fun Visit(or)

Our good family friend Cheryl came down again this year to visit us right around her birthday at the end of October. I just love spending time with her! Not only has she known us kids since we were tiny babies, but she's been a counselor for years so you can't put anything past her. ;)

We had so much fun over the weekend just before Halloween! Unfortunately Chris had already booked jobs all weekend so he wasn't able to play with us, but I brought Jacopo along instead. ;) I played hookey on Friday, and she and I met up with my mom to go to lunch and then went to play in Downtown Disney. On Saturday my brother's awesome girlfriend Roseann bravely came along with my mom, Cheryl and me to the Historic Home Tour in old town Orange. I've done the walking tour before and was really looking forward to it, since it's different homes every time. We had so much fun with just us girls! Although after a yummy lunch at Felix's and walking around all day, we were all ready for a nap by 4pm. :)

On Sunday my dad had the great idea of going to the annual apple festival in Oak Glen, and that was a blast! We took a bunch of photos that day, but I think my favorite one has to be this one:
Funny, huh? The best part was I didn't even notice the sign behind us saying "No Dogs" until I was uploading all the photos to my computer! But of course there wasn't anybody saying "get out of here with that dog" or anything. In fact, just the opposite - everybody wanted to say hi to him! I warned Cheryl of how much we might get stopped, but it takes a day of walking with him to fully understand. I must have spoken to 30 different families that day! I suppose I'm used to it by now, seeing as we can't even go to Petsmart without someone wanting to pet him or ask what kind of dog he is. I guess that's the price you pay for having an unusual dog!

But I digress!

Viva Las Vegas

Then I had 3 short days before I left for Las Vegas for a girls' weekend! Since we left early Thursday morning and Chris was working, I didn't bother going out for Halloween; I just spent the night packing and handing out candy. :)

Then we were off! Nikki, Katie, Mindy and I drove together to meet up with Katie's boyfriend Colby, and Heather joined us Friday night. We just stayed at a cheap place in downtown/Fremont Street, but it didn't matter much since we were out and about most of the time. I think it's the best time I've ever had in Vegas, and this was my 4th trip with friends! We're all pretty easygoing travelers and share similar interests, so I'm always up for traveling and vacationing with my girls. :)

We were pretty low-key this time, no shows planned or anything like that. We went to the Hoover Dam, Mindy and I went and saw the baby dolphin at the Mirage's Secret Garden (highly recommend it!), did some vintage shopping, ate at the Bellagio's buffet, gambled, and generally hung out. It was great!

We took a ton of awesome photos, but I have to share some of the highlights from my photos:

Baby Dolphin!
Katie, politely shielding my redness from drinking that ginormous margarita:On the road to the Hoover Dam, we stopped off at a vista point overlooking Lake Mead, and laughed so hysterically at these signs that were posted everywhere that we took this photo in front of one, and I think it's my fave photo that I've taken in a long time!
Such an awesome trip! Thanks gang, for making it great!

Wedding Bells

Then I had a few days last week to try and recover (ha) before my uncle's wedding to his fiancee Donna, during which I had to put together a slide show of over 100 photos since my mom didn't have time. Fun! But it worked out, and I can proudly say I've increased my skills in iMovie and iDVD. :)

So I took a half day on Friday so that I could get my act together, and Chris and I drove down to the hotel we were staying at around the corner from Karl and Donna's house. We met up with my parents, and then we all trooped over to their house for a pre-wedding get together. Which was great! It was a chance to see everybody from out of town, and meet people from her side that I hadn't met before. We (meaning me, my mom and my dad, the unofficial photography team for the weekend) took a few really bad flash-y photos that I just have to share, because I didn't post them in the official Flickr album. :)

I just love how the boys all made the same eyes at the camera in this one (and I really don't think they pre-planned that!):Alex and I getting into the amazing marzipan cake that mom made:
Elissa enjoying the cake:

And the next morning it was THE DAY. Mom and I got up extra early so we could go over to the venue ahead of time with the wedding party (aka Karl, Donna and their kids) and take some photos. We got incredibly lucky with the weather - it had been cloudy all week, but the sun came out for them, without the temperature getting too hot. Perfecto! Apparently the brewery had previously been a Chinese restaurant, so they had this awesome view out onto a koi pond with beautiful landscaping and a little bridge and waterfalls! It was actually a great choice by them, you'd never know where you were and it made the party feel very private and isolated. Plus the staff was really great and helpful.

Anyways, you can go to my Flickr album to see the whole shebang, but here are a few highlights (as always, click for larger).

The table setting:The wedding party:The location, as described above:
The recessional:
The first dance:
It was such a beautiful event! I'm so happy it turned out well for them, since they are two people who truly deserved it. And now I have a new auntie! How cool is that??

And since it was a daytime wedding, we all went back to the house afterwards and had a great time doing an "afterparty." :) I won't name names, but certain people definitely had a "better" time than others!

And now I'm spending a quiet night at home with Chris and the pup, and looking forward to a very subdued weekend...