Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Computer pictures?

I've spent the better part of the last two days creating a video for a song that we will use during church on Sunday. We are changing our service type to a blended service with traditional elements and contemporary ideas as well. So my pictures are of the slides I have in the video. Not very creative or special, but something I am proud of nonetheless.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Out of ideas and no inspiration~

The trouble with posting a photo everyday is that sometimes, you really draw a blank. And when that happens, you get a photo like this!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunlight brings forth

It's amazing what you can see with sunlight. The past few days, it has been a real treat to have sunlight streaming into my home and illuminating that which I don't see without the bright light. For instance, today while watering my plants, I suddenly noticed the tiny hairs on the wandering jew plant I love so much. I've taken simliar pictures before, but they always come out different. So here is one from a different perspective!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

100th anniversary

This is my 100th photo:) As the afternoon was passing, I suddenly noticed sunlight streaming through my windows. This was strong, vibrant sunlight, the kind that is sometimes obscured by winter clouds and snow. I was so intrigued by the sudden appearance of this beautiful light that I whipped out my camera to take a picture of the shadows and beams on the wall. It sort of reminds me of the aurora borealis the way it came out!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Beautiful fibers

This is a Christmas gift from my stepfather, an amish rug woven with beautiful fibers of blue, white and gold. From a distance, it just looks like a nice rug. But close up, I think the colors are so rich and amazingly soft and full. I couldn't think of anything else I wanted to photograph for the day!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Angels

Well, it's about time I took a picture of my angels! These were Christmas presents from last year and I know that Steve likes angels so I tried to capture the mood of angelic peace! Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas is a time for laughter

And boy did we have some today! One of the best things about Christmas is the fun we have by spending time together. Everyone in my family has a great sense of humor, so we always do two things really a lot of food and laught tons and tons. Here are just a few pictures from the day, beginning with Madilyn, my second cousin.

Tracker, my brother's beagle, had a lot of fun trying to get some hot cocoa out of a discarded cup:

and Mom, of course, giggling away with a set of fake teeth in (Jonny and I did the stockings and we couldn't resist some good ol' fashioned gag gifts!) MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Shhh! It's a secret!

Since my cooking/baking skills are less than satisfactory in my opinion, I decided to do something different for Christmas dinner tomorrow. Usually I just contribute in the dish washing category, but this year, I've decided to extend my range of skills to the appetizer category. I've devised a recipe for an olive oil bread dipping sauce with a little help from the internet. Combining that with my black and white trick from the other day, here is the picture of what will soon become a culinary delight for the mouth!
I won't reveal my recipe yet, but will tell you it involves olive oil, red pepper flakes, and fresh minced garlic as well as other spices. Yummy! Can hardly wait until tomorrow:)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Caroling in small towns

Tonight a small but joyous group gathered to go caroling to people who are shut in. We were small in numbers, but strong in spirit. Here are a couple of pictures from the evening:

Monday, December 22, 2008

Experimenting with different tools

In the spirit of Steve, I am posting one of my photos from London this past summer. I think it came out really cool.

Now back to my post for the day. As a single person, there's really no rush for me to get the decorations up on the tree. Of course, it would help if I knew where to find them in the first place:) Well, I finally did discover my secret hiding place for decorations and got them all up today. I think I was listening to a lot of Burl Ives when I bought them because they are mostly silver and gold with an underlying snowflake theme. I took a few shots and the second one is cool, but I haven't quite figured out how to make it look more professional in the editing aspect.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The photo club jar!

Set the little jar outside to catch some of this horrid white stuff...actually, it's quite pretty:) Who gets the jar next?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Celebrating 90 posts!

Today is actually my 92nd picture since the end of September, but I'm officially celebrating the taking and posting of 90 pictures in the past 2 and a half months. Today, out of ideas yet again, I took a picture of my half decorated tree and I fogged up the lens in order to get the glowing little lights. I hope you enjoy:)

Friday, December 19, 2008

My addiction

Every night, I try to read before bed. Sometimes, it's a few pages and sometimes it is a whole book:) Reading helps me clear my mind from the day's events. When I was a little kid, if I woke up because of a bad dream, I would often just lay in bed and create a story in my mind until I fell asleep again. Because of this addiction, my bed stand is probably the most cluttered piece of furniture I have. I switch from book to book, from story to story and some, I read over and over again because I love them so much. Lord of the Rings is one of those for me, as well as To Kill a Mockingbird, The Myst Triology, and several others.

Tonight's picture is my pile of books by the night stand. I've organized them a bit to make them look more "pretty", but on any given night, they will be strewn across the floor, dog eared, upside down, etc. You get the idea!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Could it be?!

What's this? Is Steve Vunk actually putting his name on the back of his photo cards? Is he actually taking credit for a job well done? Is he really and truly admitting his talent as a photographer?!? Wait, let me check outside...yup, pigs are flying :)

Steve gave me some of his fantastic photo cards because he knew how much I liked that one he gave you Bridget. I was thrilled to get the gift and even more happy that he gave himself recognition.

Two presents in two days...a pack of awesome note cards and a candle that smells like Christmas cookies...Yippee! I am blessed!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas boxes

All I could think of!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Hope

Today, the student council went shopping for over 40 kids and families that would not be able to have Christmas presents this year. What a humbling for clothing, toys, and gifts that you know will bring joy to someone who would otherwise go without. The kids were fantastic, the salespeople were helpful, and I am continually amazed at how much good there truly is in thise world, despite the bad stuff. I felt like today I was holding a star in my hands and then releasing it so that the world could see what I see when I look at these kids: Hope. Hope for a better world in the future. Hope for things to be different. Hope for less selfishness and more selflessness. What a great experience. Here is my star that I am holding: my students and their willingness to "be the change in the world"!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Playing with matches

Okay, I wasn't really playing with matches. But my apartment was chilly when I got home today. I decided to light some candles and then I remembered Linda's glass bottle. First, I had some fun just flicking the candle lighter and I caught this cool shot in aperature mode: Then I used the candle lighter in near darkness to create the shadow from the bottle. I also used an old photo filter and poster edges with a fade. The orange-ish glow is the actual color of the entire photo because of the lighter, but the fade makes it seem like just the bottle is glowing, which I think is really cool. Not spectacular, but I don't have time for spectacular! Meetings, quizzes to grade, all the usual stuff.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The mystery you have to solve...

First things first...Mystery #1: What is that in the background of my post from yesterday? Well, it is actually the Statute of Liberty! Yes, I went to NYC for the day with my family and had just a perfect day walking around, on the subway, even in Battery Park. I've been there before, so I felt pretty good about knowing my way around. Mystery #2: Can you find me and my family in this picture? Enlarge to see if you can spot us!
This year, I really got some interesting photo ops, including this one from Chinatown:

Shark fin for $265 a pound? Weird! But interesting. You'll see below a slideshow of some of the photos from the trip. The photo I've posted above is from this morning on the way to church. The sky always seems to do beautiful things for me on the way to church:)

A day in New York City yields some fun!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Come back tomorrow!

Come back tomorrow and I'll explain where I was all day and show you some neat pictures! PLUS...a mystery you have to solve!

Friday, December 12, 2008


With the whole day ahead of me, I started spending a bit more time than I've lately been spending with the photography. This snow day was desperately needed for rest and also to release the death grip of stress I have been creating for myself. I happily shoveled the steps and sidewalk, feeling little bits of freezing rain try to penetrate my winter gear. I then went back upstairs and looked for a more lively picture than just the dirty snow and ice covering my block. Every snow and ice picture was turning out grungy and I wanted something to show the peace and tranquility I was feeling. Here's what I came up with:

Amazingly, it started snowing big fluffy flakes of snow as I began to shoot, which made the discarded mitten look perfect in my opinion! I decided to celebrate by curling up in my recliner with a good book and a blanket...and promptly feel asleep!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Who cares about weather?! I have a salad!

Okay, now before you yell at me for not taking pictures of the pretty snow....I really would have, but there was something else I desperately needed to do or someone might have gotten hurt. I had to order a nice big chef salad from Romana's and dig in! Why is this more important than the pretty snow? Well, to put in it one word...STRESS! I was too busy this morning to stop and eat breakfast and I was too stressed to remember to pack lunch. GRRRRR....around 11:30, I was ready to keel over. I could always buy lunch, but there is nothing carb free and I have lost over 13 pounds, 5 in the last week. Eating junk food would totally set me back:) So I toughed it out and here was my reward:
Piles of yummy cheese, meat and veggies dripping with homemade italian dressing. SOOOOOO much better than a silly snow storm.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A light in the fog

You ever have a moment when things just click? I think everyone has these moments whether they are revelations, visions, moments of understanding. But seeing them happen for kids (especially kids who struggle with academics) is like seeing a sky of shooting stars, or feeling the first drops of pure summer rain.

Today I was getting observed and it was my last class of the day. This particular class is very very low academically speaking. There is a consultant teacher that works with me in the classroom everyday and it's a struggle to get many of them to be engaged because school in general is very difficult for them. Well, I'd taught the lesson three times already and it just wasn't coming out right. I was mixing things up, I was having trouble finding the right wordsto teach with, and the kids were just sort of there. Then came 8th period and my observation. And suddenly the lesson just clicked. My kids who struggle so much because of learning disabilities were simply ALIVE! They were answering questions and even better, they were getting all the challenging concepts I was presenting. At one point, I paused in my discussion and realized with a jolt that absolutely every single eye in the classroom was on me. If you've ever taught, you know that moment is HUGE. Almost never do I have full attention of an entire classroom of 12/13 year old bodies. But these kids were staring at me and their eyes held...I don't know...excitment? fire? Something!

This isn't the first time this has happened to me, but to see these kids having success and to see them engaged, happy, ready for the next moment....I just felt like the luckiest person in the world to be a part of the learning they were creating. So today, I choose fire and fog for my picture. I have the candle burning and I fog up my lens to show that the light does come through the darkness. We do, in little moments along the way, see things the way they are meant to be. And I thank God for those moments and for my kids. They lit a fire in me today:)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The torch reluctantly passed...

The new winner of the coveted trophy for photography goes to...

(maybe parting a bit unwillingly though I can't blame you Trish...that thing is honey to bees)

LINDA! Congrats to the new winner and to everyone for all the great posting for the past two months. Seems like only yesterday we were venturing down the unknown path of blogdom. Now look where we have ended up! 70 days in the clear...the 365 day challenge continues!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Another Carolyn Classic

So my mom told me I should get some pictures of the Christmas trees with snow on them. Well, sounds good to me. I got to the little Christmas tree shop which was right down the road from church and there were these cute little trees all lined up in rows. But most of the snow had blown away by then and the light was not fantastic. I began shooting, looking for a beautiful majestic tree glossy with white snow covered branches and sharp evergreen. It was blistery cold! But I finally got a nice shot and of course I used my coveted oil painting filter to make the snow like fluffy cotton. When I finally made it back to my car, I was totally in the Christmas spirit, frozen fingers and all! I cranked up the holiday tunes and realized that I am totally excited about Christmas this year. Not that I am usually a grinch, but the past 5 or 6 years, I have been battling depression and it was only after my trip to Africa that I realized God had healed me completely. What this means is that it feels like someone has pulled back a veil from Christmas. Everything is bright and beautiful and my heart is aglow.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Night time shot

Here is a night time shot of the flag pole outside the window. Again, I don't really like nighttime photography, but that's the assignment, so I figured I'd try it out. I do like the way the flag is moving and it's very whimsical.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Old idea but new for me

What more can I say?
Psalm 52:8
But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God. I trust in God's unfailing
forever and ever!

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