Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Drat! Foiled Again!

a few weeks ago I came up with a wonderful blog game. You were all going to love it. Trust me. Given me the Blog Queen crown and everything. great game.

See we were going to play 7 steps to Kevin Bacon blog style. This time you had to trace back through the list of people read in the side bars of the blogs to see how many blogs you had to go through to connect with Donna Downy. (Ok, so it could have been HS, CZ, or Ali Edwards but I like Donna's photo and I still consider myself one step removed from her, so Donna it was.) Ok, so it sounded like more fun in my head.

Here's where the bad part comes in. Unbeknownst to me, it has suddenly become unfashionable to list names of people in your side bar. When did this happen? All I remember is everybody had a list of friends a couple of dozen names long right there in the side bar and then all of the sudden you were lucky if they linked Dooce or Wish Jar. I feel so out of it.

Yet once again another trend has past by and I'm the geek again. Just like old times.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Amy's Amazing Fantastic Christmas Wish List

Fantastic because it's almost complete fantasy ;) but just for fun I'm going to post the stuff I'm dreaming of this Christmas.

1. 600 tc sheets. They also sell 1200 tc sheets, but I think I can settle for the 600. ETA: Ivory.
2. a Pistol grip ball head and a set of tripod legs to go with it.

3. a cute button up shirt. something like this would be nice. or one of these so I can do that layered thing I keep seeing everybody doing.

4. Bazzill cardstock. in packs too.

5. Canon 28-135mm IS USM lens.

6. an Alien Bee flash strobe in either Martian Pink or Alien Green. I just think about what a difference this would make in my flexibilty as a photographer. I could take my little sushine with me where ever I went. :)

7. a reflector stand. absolutely essential with the Bee.

8. a background stand. maybe not that one but something good quality that's portable. and a nice backdrop.

9. of course, if I'm dreaming, I want this for my photo studio. or when I turn the upstairs computer room into my photo studio. (did I forget to mention that, Steve? don't freak. I did say I was dreaming) oh and some muslin to hang on it ;)

10. The Architect's Brother by Robert ParkeHarrison.

11. Photoshop 7 or higher.

Monday, November 28, 2005


Bubba to Rilla: If you love your mom and dad you get a heart in your tummy.


I caught a quick clip this evening on a short PBS show showing the process the husband and wife artistic team go through to create a photograph. They are Robert and Shanna ParkeHarrison. I am mesmerized by their work. Just in awe. Everything is done with traditional techniques. no digital. It gives the photos are true ageless quality. But they aren't just photos. They are a photographic representation of an idea. I can't describe them except to say it's like Roald Dahl took up the visual arts.

go here: Robert and Shanna Parke Harrison. look through their gallery. I am now adding the book of their work to my Christmas wish list.

Monday, November 21, 2005

don't go out into the rain, you'll drown

My sister gave Sarah the Wicked soundtrack this weekend. I love it. I've listened to it several times and already have favorite songs. It's really beautiful and Kristin Chenowyth is one of my favorite Broadway singers. So as I'm looking up some things about the musical, I run across the ineveitable critics. A lot were positive. Of course they were, it's a fun show.

Some were down right idiots. Not because they don't like the musical. I perfectly understand people having different tastes. They could even say it's not to their taste giving no reasons and I'd be ok with that. It's the smug elitists who judge the entire work as bad because it's popular that drive me nuts. Just because a lot of people like it, it stinks.

Since when did "art" become defined as "something which only a very few can understand?" Who decides this anyway? Have you ever noticed that the more the general public deride certain inexplicable artistic efforts, the more the art critics scream about how good it is? How it perfectly sums up the artists total understanding of humanity and general detestation for civilzation as we know it at the same time? Smear paint on a beloved painting? art. Take photos that make most people cringe and sick to their stomachs? art. Play music that grinds in the ear drum? art.

if all Art has to be is something everyone hates, then Ross Geller is a music genius.

if Art can not be something that millions of people love than Starry Night is crap.

There are ways to judge music. Principals by which we judge visual pieces. Counting the seats sold in the theater and at the gallery has never been on the list.

I think the thing that bugs me the most about these elitists that apply their "everyone has to hate it" principle to Muscial Theater is that it completely disregards the entire history of musicals. Musicals evolved out of Vaudville. Yes, Vaudville, the entertainment for the masses. Musicals have historically been popular entertainment, loved by large numbers of the
American public. So to say a musical is bad simply because it sells seats just completely contradicts everything Broadway has ever represented. It boggles my mind.

Can we please start judging music and art by it's own merits and stop counting tickets? Can't it be ok for me as the average individual who hates wearing black and dislikes sticking my nose in the air to like something?

Go back to your Wagner. Leave my Broadway alone.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Two in a row

two days in a row I've done letter size layouts. I don't think I'm going to switch, but I'm enjoying the smaller format and the change of shape. I"ve got a few other ideas for layouts in the 8.5x11, so we'll see where I go. anyway, I had to scrap my red couch:

the "red" pulls out and has a huge journaling block on it. I don't feel like typing the whole thing. basically it says, I endured used furniture and I'm ecstatic to have this finally. I love it and I'm stinking proud I could buy it with my own money. the end. only it says it much more eloquently. I don't do eloquent at midnight ;)

short term memory problems

I keep thinking of things throughout my day that would make a good blog entry. Of course, five minutes later the idea is gone. You will all have to pretend then that this is a brilliant entry that really changed how you view life . . . . ok, never mind. for brilliancy in writing you can read Cathy Zeilke's short tretise on passion. I loved it. Or you can get some great ideas for creative inspiration from Keri Smith (the Live Out Loud author.)

my goal is to work on something creative everyday. I did it yesterday. a really simple layout of the lighthouse we visited on the WA coast. Our vacation album is 6x6 and my main album is 12x12, but I wanted to play with this design.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

It's not an obsession. really.

I organize my favorites list in IE in folders and sub-folders. There came a point where it was too long and I couldn't find what I needed, so into folders it went. There's one for scrapbooking, one for photography, etc. The scrapbooking one also has several subfolders, like magazines. I like this system because it means I can find the link I need.

I told you all that so I could tell you this: my favorite blogs folder now has sub-folders. Yes folks, it has gone that far.

also in Bedlam news:
Libby has advanced enough in taste she can recognize sour milk. isn't it sad that I know that this is a milestone in babies lives and they can't always distinguish that sour milk is yucky? Wanna know what's even sadder? every single one of my kids have learned this one pretty early. says something about me doesn't it? please don't judge too harshly. There's no rotting food under the couch. ummmm. maybe. we cleaned out from under that late last week. anything under there shouldn't be rotting yet. ;)

Matt has been asking me to spell stuff lately. all the time. "how do you spell dog? how do you spell cup? How do you spell dinosaur? how do you spell discombobulated?" ok not really the last one but if I said that word to him he'd ask.

Rilla is asking me to spell stuff for her too. only she's trying to write the words.

Joshua has declared he will wear his jacket (the one from Aunt Cathy) until the snow flies. I hope he doesn't get too cold.

Sarah is willing to tell friends to stuff it when they are being jerks to her. good girl.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A decision:

this is what I'll be sending off to the printers:

This is what I printed on white photo grade cardstock and stuck in my purse:

thanks everone for your help and your comments. It really helped me come to a decision on this. The libby card will eventually get printed. but I'll start with the toes. :)

It's Like an Acid Trip I've never had

So I finally got to watch the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I wanted to see it in the theaters but since it costs $60 to take the whole family out to a movie, we waited until it went to DVD. We got it from Netflix on Thursday and we watched it four times before we sent it back. I loved it. I knew I would, but it's nice to have those feelings confirmed.

first off, no I didnt' like the little addition of WW's dad into the story, although we had to laugh at their casting. Daddy is the ultimate bad guy. Not only was he Saruman the bad wizard in TLOR trilogy, he also played Count Dooku, the sith lord in the new Star Wars flicks. good choice. Only a man that evil would throw chocolate on a fire. However, the addtion of the dad just seemed a bit contrived, like they were coming up for motivation for WW to extend the end of the movie.

The music was so fun. Danny Elfman really let his hair down on this one and went back to his rock roots. The homage to himself that is Mike Teevee's song is cool and funny and very cleverly done. It great fun to hear Danny Elfman being fun and not just creepy. I love that the lyrics are the ones that Roald Dahl wrote, preserved in all their sick humor and unapologetic truth. It would have been so easy to slick them up and go too PC. Luckily, Tim Burton never worries about PC.

The visials are gorgeous, with their over saturated colors and swooping lines, the sets were like dream version of themselves. very beautiful. Very Tim Burton. I love Tim Burton visuals.

The movie wasn't just fun to look at. I liked the script too. for the most part, the small changes were fun (the puppet introduction) with one exception of the Dad storyline. They stuck to the book! I adore Roald Dahl's books. I love their quirkiness, their honesty, their off beat humor. I love that Tim Burton played all that up instead of trying to tone it down like they did in that travesty that is the 70's version.

Yes, I hated that one. I hated Gene Wilder, he's too serious, too mean, and not weird enough, he's just a bit off, not really weird. I hated the story changes they made. I hated the scripts. the changes. oh and the charlie in that one isn't meek, he's a dork. ok, so Jonny Depp's mediocre performance isn't deserving of awards but it's better than Gene Wilder's masacre of the character.

So coming from that, loving the book, loving Tim Burton's work, and Danny Elfman's soundtracks, is it any wonder that I loved this movie?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

I am without a PEZ accessory!

It's so sad. I went to four stores last night and the only ones I found were Revenge of the Sith collectible ones for $14 a set. they weren't cute anyway so I passed. sigh. back to the old standby of telling knock knock jokes.

She's nobody's (fashion) slave

The other day I followed a link to Gymboree's new winter line, just out of curiosity. The stuff was very adorable. Sarah came and started looking over my shoulder and pointing out things she liked. Then I scrolled to the bottom and I had to laugh.

"You can buy underwear to match your clothes. How silly is that?"

"no sillier than putting words on the butt." says Sarah.

good girl.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Seeking Opinions

ok, I've finally decided it's time I took the plunge and ordered business cards. I've been playing with a couple designs. One is a two sided card, and one is single sided. please let me know what you think. do you like the wording? placement? are the photos working for you? can you read it? thanks!

version 1 the first image is the front the second image is the back:

version 2:

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Finally, a camera accessory I can afford

I want one of these. How cool is that? I had the worst time getting a non cheesy smile out of the six year old client a few weeks ago and I have a four year old that tends to cheesy to shoot on Saturday. I think a fancy new hot shoe attatchment is just what I need to solve the problem.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Can I "go to the mattresses" now?

Lately, I've been hearing a lot of people say about magazine publishing "it's not personal, it's business." And I can't help thinking of Kathleen Kelly's (Meg Ryan) response to that phrase: What is that supposed to mean? I am so sick of that. All that means is that it wasn't personal to you. But it was personal to me. It's *personal* to a lot of people. And what's so wrong with being personal, anyway?

my work is very personal to me. It's my words, my photos, my children, my art, so I do take rejection of them personally. I know I should just think of it not as the magazine rejecting me but as the magazine choosing someone else. I can't do that yet. I haven't seperated myself that much from the process. So I sit through another round of layout requests with an empty mailbox and I start to question my taste. I love my pages. I love the designs. So if none of them are suitible for publishing, doesn't that mean that I haven't the slightest clue what "good" means? if I take this so hard, should I even be trying?

I dont' really need an answer. I guess like Kathleen Kelly I just want to send my cosmic question out into the void. "good night, dear void."

Monday, November 07, 2005

Photo a Day

You may have noticed my second blog over in my sidebar. I joined a challenge on 2 Peas called A Photo a Day. Which is basically what it sounds like. I take a photo and we all share our pictures. It's been fun. I'm feeling more creative with my photography and I'm actually taking more pictures. I'm seeing subjects everywhere. Love it.

I am also getting inspired to do things with my photos. I did this collage of Libby from the Friday photo:

Saturday, I printed up the collage so I could show a photography client. It was only 11 inches long, but I you get the idea of it. I ended up with an extra one (dumb printer) so this morning I cut the photos out if it and created this layout:

Love the POD challenge!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

When Restaurant Owners Watch Too Much Trading Spaces

Steve: where's the salad bar?

Me: Over there behind the covered wagon.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Scholastic--The School Sanctioned Crack Dealer

We always make it a point to buy books at the school book sales. It supports the schools, the kids would hate us if we didn't, I get to feel like a good guy, hey, everybody wins!

Except of course, we had to go and choose too well at the last book fair. I bought Libby the adorable book Knuffle Bunny. Why, yes, it is as cute as it sounds. With fantastically clever lines like "And by the time they got home, her daddy was unhappy too." and my favorite, "well, she had no choice . . . . Trixie bawled. She went boneless." Adorable. Clever. Everything a good book is supposed to be. I was terrifically pleased with myself. Until Libby discovered it. I am now forced to sit and read Knuffle Bunny six times through at least once a day, preferably (for her) twice a day. Even six times is not enough. I must read more! more! Libby bawls. She goes boneless. I am tempted to hide a book . . . again.

Yes, I have hidden books. I am that kind of mother. There is only so much Very Hungry Caterpiller one woman can take before she goes certifiably insane. Unfortunately, I hid that book too late and that's why I now run Bedlam. If I don't hide Knuffle Bunny soon, Steve's going to have to find me a padded room. Luckily for Libby, the idea of a nice, quiet, padded room is very appealing.

btw, if you would like to join me in my padded room, there's a link to Knuffle Bunny in my new sidebar section "what we're reading." bring the chocolate when you come. I'm sure I'll have run out.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Blog Archives meme

I usually don't do the blogging memes. I think I've done maybe two, but I ran across one recently that really sounded interesting so I had to try it.

go to your 23rd post and the 5th sentence in that post. Ponder this for meaning and hidden subtexts. I was all over this. how cool. I can get all deep and philosphical and show how deep and philosophical I've already been and not sound like I'm bragging! whoohoo! So off I go to count post and sentences and I find it: my twenty third post. Which, coincidentally enough, was the first blogging meme I ever did. cool huh? The fifth sentence of that entry reads . . . are you sure you are ready for my deep meaningful thoughts? are you? ok. I said:

"Thanks. "

LOL! yes. that's it. shows me doesn't it? I get all excited about it and then hit a brick wall. sigh. I did however find this little gem in the same post:

"9. Blogs. current adiction that is totally affecting my writing voice in case you couldn't tell. just be glad my current addiction isn't Jane Austen. "

I thought it was funny considering my recent entry where I had, in fact, been reading a lot of Jane Austen. (btw, give Mansfield Park a pass. yawn.) ok, maybe it's just funny to me. I'm giggling anyway. I'm glad you are just reading this, because in person, I would probably be getting some funny looks. I do take on the writing voice though of whatever I've been reading a lot of. I can't help it. I even think that way. What I've been reading just twists my thoughts into whatever sentence pattern the author of that book tends to favor. Sometimes it's fun. Sometimes it's annoying. What's really annoying is that I once got a C on a Genre paper because I couldn't call up the writing style of the literary critic I was supposed to be emulating in the paper.

BTW, if you are now trying to place the first paragraph of my post from this morning, I've been reading a lot of Douglas Adams.

oh and I'm supposed to be tagging someone with this. I think I won't, but if you do it, please leave me a link in the comments. I'd love to see it. I do hope you get a better sentence to play with though ;)

You say "budget" I say "huh?"

This weekend we bought a tub of cool whip for a pumpkin pie. I made the pie. It was good. This is all completely off topic but I wanted to point out the pie since I never, in fact, make pie. well almost never, which is how the pie in question here came into being.

The top of the cool whip had a contest advertised on it. Groceries for a Year! it proclaimed in bold colorful letters with a cutsy graphic of a grocery cart with generic food items in it. Pretty standard food item contest and graphic so it didnt' really register until I turned over the cardboard top. "A $10,000 value." yeah, $10,000 for one year of groceries. Are you kidding me? Who the heck spends $800 a month on gorceries? If I wanted to spend that I could go out to eat three times a week and eat steak the rest. It seems so excessive to me. I guess if I spent $800 a month I could afford to cook the stuff in the magazine recipes.

I once read Flylady make the assumtion that my food budget was the second largest expense in my budget. I guess food is expensive to a lot of people. It used to look too expensive to my husband until I sent him out to do the shopping. He did most of the grocery shopping for about six months before he stopped complaining about how much I spent. Oh, he didn't really complain. He just held his breath at me. Did a slight, almost not there head tilt and didn't say anything for about a minute.

So what are people spending on food? Are there a lot of people spending $800 on food for their average family of four or five? That just seems like so much to me. You could spend half as much a month, save the difference and pay for a week at Disneyland at the end of a year, and never once had your family feel like they didn't have enough to eat. I know I could spend less, of course I would get tired of spagetti, leg quarters, and potatoes, but I could spend about $100 less a month if we needed to. Right now I'm not feeling like we need to, but after that Disneyland comment I just wrote, I'm thinking I might need to cut back on some groceries. ;) I couldn't take everyone to disney after one year, but $1200 would sure pay for something fun.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Late Fall

I've enjoyed the warm weather we had all through October. Days up to 70 degrees. it was beautiful, just perfect for being outside. I'm not much of an outdoor person except in the fall and spring, so I always apreciate it when I get a few extra days to enjoy it.

There are drawbacks however. The leaves haven't fallen much yet. My kids keep wanting to make big leaf piles but there just wasn't enough on the ground to do it. Until yesterday when the leaves began falling in large groups. Today it's raining. Just when we get enough leaves to have fun, the fall rain starts so it's too wet to enjoy them. dang it. so much for fall photos. guess it's time to cave up in the house again.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Crazy Season Has Begun

Halloween makes it official. the holidays are upon us. I should be making lists at this point. making decisions. but all I've got energy for this morning is avoiding the candy. Steve invited me to join him back on the diet today. I need to. so I'm back and I'm glad that my kids are mostly smart enough to hide their candy.

they had a good time last night. Matt did go as Darth Bubba. it was easier. I dressed Libby up as a scarecrow, a last minute costume that came out very cute. Sarah and Joshua were vampires. I was hoping for pretty ones but I let daddy run the face make up so they came out "scary." and once again I didn't get any good pictures. I'll try and post pictures later. In the meantime, you can enjoy the rows of doughnuts. That's from my mom's house where she made 144 doughnuts last night and gave out at least 100 of them. They look good don't they?