So, this post is full of random little somethings to begin the week.

First up, a little look into an elementary-style craft I did while not feeling too great this weekend:

It’s a rather simple little creation, but I needed something to keep my hands busy, and it worked. I was inspired by this post on the Under the Sycamore blog, and I decided to make a little vase of my own.

I started by going to Stop and Shop with Paul and buying flowers for myself. Yup. I did. And it made me happy, because I like dandelions. And though these are not dandelions, they make me think of them. Which makes me think of spring. And green grass. And bare feet. And long, hazy nights. Which makes me happier still.

So, I took the empty jar that held my (ridiculously expensive yet highly effective) facial cleanser. I may have chosen that specific jar for two reasons- one being that it’s cute and vintage-y looking and two being that the product is costly enough that it makes me feel better if I don’t throw out the glass bottle. I know. It’s odd.

I cleaned off the original label with Windex, added a little scrap of fabric, and taped it on. Then I got some matching twine and wound it around a few times and made a bow. Simple. Elementary. Cheerful.

Okay. So.

That brings me to my next random thing. I have been getting a number of emails lately related to photography questions, but I feel kinda’ funny giving people instructions on how to take photos. I’m not an expert, and never took a class. (Yet.) But if this little tutorial helps someone, then I won’t feel quite as funny. (In other words, feel free to leave feedback on whether you like little photography tips to be shared here.)

When taking photos of the vase, I was in our kitchen. Which means poor fluorescent lighting. I don’t use flash as a rule- except during dark receptions, so that option was out. I turned off the lights, over-exposed by a half-stop and took this image, facing the mudroom:

50mm   f 1.4   1/125 sec.   800 ISO

Meh. It’s okay- too dark in front, too much light pouring in from behind. The vases are off-color, and the image just appears flat. So I figure if I turn on just one light behind me, maybe the fluorescent wouldn’t yellow it too much- and the light would help to add fill light to the front of the image, and let me bump up my shutter speed a bit. Which would make for a better exposure. Right?

50mm    f1.4    1/400 sec.   ISO 800

Blech. Hello, fluorescent lighting. Too yellow, grey, and just plain flat and two-dimensional.

So I noticed that there was a lot of light in the background, and then decided to turn off the light again, go into the mudroom (the other side of the pass-through window shown here) and shoot from the complete opposite direction-  facing into the kitchen, so that the best light was in front of the vases, or behind me.

50mm   f 1.4   1/125 sec    ISO 800

It worked.  The colors are true to life, the brightness at the correct level, and the exposure is what I was looking for.

It really is all about light.

As a side note:  All of these three photos were post-processed exactly the same. I just upped the brightness a little and that’s it. No saturation, vibrance changes, etc. Also, for those who are stuck inside in the winter, a few main tips for good indoor photos:  no lights on, no flash, bump up your ISO, and shoot with a north window behind you. There’s nothing like window light from the north side to make the best image. Why?

I have no idea. But it works.

Speaking of work, this is what I’m working on right now. And it’s quite fun. I may show the final result. Someday. Until then, I’m enjoying the riot of colors. (Hint:  it’s not a pillow this time.) –

And, no, I do not quilt.

Two more things.

And then I will be quiet.



Big news in our town.

School was re-opened today. After 4 days off. In a row. I guess we had February vacation after all, no?

Yes, this is a bench of snow. Covered in ice. Which is a fun novelty when you’re 7 years old. Even if it makes for a wet backside before the bus comes. I’m told it was worth it. ‘Not every day you get to sit on a couple feet of snow without falling through; so they said.

Okay. I’ll take your word for it, you two.

Goodness, I love this set of twins. Photos like this get me all sentimental and weepy.

Why? Who knows.

I just love ‘em.

Know what else?


I love my sisters.

One of whom turns __ today. (Am I allowed to say how old, Melinda?) Okay. I’ll just say that she’s not 31 or 32 anymore. Or 34, yet, either.

Ain’t she cute? She’s the little tyke on the left row in the back. This was before Kara came on the scene, as you may notice a 5th Ryan girl is missing:

And here she is present day, second from right:

Yup, still cute.

And no, despite what it looks like, there aren’t 6 Ryan girls. That’s my Mom, third from the left. She’s cute, too.

Know what? It was summer here. Mmhmm. Yup. It did happen.

Happy Birthday, Melinda!

Love you!

Readers:  Thank you for putting up with my Monday randomness, in which you got to see inside my scattered brain.

I do apologize for that.


February 7, 2011 - 12:53 pm

Melinda - Aww I love that picture, too bad Kee isn’t in it! Know what I love my sisters too VERY much.

February 7, 2011 - 3:29 pm

Kara - Happy Birthday Minna.
Kerigan looks JUST like you in that picture.

February 7, 2011 - 5:20 pm

Karen - Happy Birthday, Winda. How does it feel to be 33? (I wouldn’t know)

February 8, 2011 - 9:31 am

Melinda - Thanks Karen and don’t worry you will find out soon enough :) Your not that far behind me!!!

February 11, 2011 - 12:37 pm

Shara - I’ve gotta ask what kind of face wash you use – it would be worth it for the bottle! One of my weird weaknesses…

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