Saturday, March 31, 2012

There's a nickel on your nose! (91/366)

Now show me how you get it off your nose, without your hands!  This is part of my 50mm home work.  We were reviewing photo books at the end of class on Thursday and one had a whole series of people with nickels on their noses and how they tried to get them to fall off without using their hands or obviously moving their heads.

So Shannon was my first victim model and somehow I got talked into letting her have a Twitter account.  I will figure my way out of that in the morning, as only a mother can...LOL

Interesting the faces you make when trying to do this little test.  I think when it's Daniel's turn, I might try different lighting or positioning.  Not that I don't like this, but I want my blacks a little blacker and crisp.

From there to here and here to there, funny things are everywhere.
~Dr. Seuss

Friday, March 30, 2012

Sam I Am (90/366)

Keystone Oaks High School presents Seussical!  It's a Dr. Seuss musical and so full of fun!  I so loved Dr. Seuss books as a kid, even though I was tormented in Elementary School with the whole Green Eggs and Ham deal....LOL

The Keystone Oaks kids did an amazing job this evening.  The music, the singing, the dancing, the costumes and sets, it was all a class act!  The Cat in the Hat, Horton and Gertrude McFuzz were my favorite characters, but I need to give kudos to Mayzie La Bird, definitely a bird (woman) after my own heart.

If you ever get a chance to see this, whether it's off Broadway (or on) or your local High School, GO!  It's well worth the see and it will bring back lots of fond memories.  In fact, go find yourself a Dr. Seuss book and have a read, it does the soul good!

I like green eggs and ham
I do!  I like them, Sam I am
And I would eat them in a boat
And I would eat them with a goat
And I will eat them in the rain
In the dark and on a train
And in a car  And in a Tree
They are so good, so good you see

So I will eat them in a box
And I will eat them with a fox
And I will eat them in a house
And I will eat them with a mouse
And I will eat them here and there
And I will eat them everywhere
Say! I will eat them ANYWHERE!

I do so like
green eggs and ham
Thank you, thank you!
Sam I am
~Dr. Seuss

Thursday, March 29, 2012

50mm ONLY! (89/366)

Well I warned you in the beginning that not every post would be ready for Time/Life magazine and tonight would be one of them.  Although, it is the beginning of new homework assignment.

Shooting with my 50mm lens.....ONLY.  This means adjusting to something I am not used to..moving myself and not the lens.  It also means a trip or two down Portrait Lane.  I am not fond of portraits but I will give it a go as I know my children just love being in front of my camera <insert eyeroll here>.

So tonight we experimented with a water bottle.  Exciting?  I think not, but just think, it can only get better from here.  I promise to share more than a few of the 50mm shots as my blog shot of the day.  And Chris Merrick, I can shoot in and with anything I want in my blog, the 50mm only is just for class projects....LOL

There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.
~Ansel Adams

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Floral Abstract (88/366)

I know I have talked about my love of flowers and what wonderful subjects they are.  No hair or make up issues, no clothing malfunction.  They simple are and that's all they need to be.

Earlier this week we celebrated my co-worker's birthday.  Her sister sent her flowers and we have been having a field day with our iPhone's and my Olloclip.  This was my favorite from today.  Gerber daisies are nature's paintbrushes.  Just full of colors I know my camera could never duplicate.

Now for some odd reason, every time I look at this photo, it brings to mind a quote I found recently.  It has nothing to do with flowers but it just seems to me to be appropriate for the photo.  Perhaps its the way the softness of the petals cling to the rough stem for strength and support.  Or it could just be that I liked the quote, this is my blog and I felt like using it today with this picture.  Either way, enjoy!

I read once that the Ancient Egyptians had fifty words for sand and Eskimos had a hundred words for snow.  I wish I had a thousand words for love, but all that comes to mind is the way you move against me when you sleep & there are no words for that.
~Brian Andreas

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Happiness In Bloom (87/366)

Today was one of those days where I didn't even get a moment to move during the day so taking a shot was nothing more than a fleeting thought till I got home.  Before dropping the kids to CCD and heading to the park for a 5K walk, I scouted around my back yard.  Daffodils were still aplenty but I wanted something with some real color.

Forsythia are one of my favorites.  Those tiny yellow flowers just exude happiness and have always been a sure sign that Spring is here!

Forsythia is pure joy.  There is not an ounce, not a glimmer of sadness or even knowledge in forsythia.  Pure, undiluted, untouched joy!
~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Monday, March 26, 2012

Going To The Chapel..... (86/366)

I made it back to St. Bernard's today after work to experiment.  I was hope for a bigger view of this beautiful Church but I was limited with the 50mm and my iPhone was OK, but not great.  Guess I need to add the 10-22mm wide angle lens to my wish list!

I know I did not do it justice but it's open all the time so I will be back, for more practice.  I expect when I get my new camera and lenses things will be a little different and there will be more to share.

I feel sure that no girl would go to the altar if she knew all.
~Queen Victoria

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Nature's Watercolor (85/366)

We slept in today.  I can't remember the last time I slept in past 8AM but it felt good and was much needed.  Last night I stayed up watching Hollywood's version of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo".  As expected, it was not nearly as wonderful as the original but not a bad watch.

So today we kept things simple.  Breakfast, Mass and off to get the kids haircuts.   Outside of the grocery store were lots of perennials and annual and I have a weakness for Pansies.  Over the next few weeks we will be doing a lot of outside work and Daniel wants Pansies in the new pots I just bought.  So of course I had to take a few shots before we left...

I think they will be a perfect choice when the planting starts.

The beauteous pansies rise In purple, gold and blue, With tints of rainbow hue Mocking the sunset skies.
~Thomas John Ouseley

Saturday, March 24, 2012

David Boyce? (84/366)

Well the Church theme continues.  Today Daniel and I were running some errands and on our way to Robinson, we passed this great church which I had seen previously, but had forgotten about.  I made a note to stop on our way back home.

I was on a mission for a new lens.  It was a Canon 50mm f/1.8 and I want it to shoot the altar of St. Bernard's on Monday.  The lenses I have just do not have a low enough aperture for me to capture the altar with the lighting in the Church.  We struck out at our first stop, but surprisingly found what I wanted at Best Buy.  It was a few dollars more, but I was willing to pay that for it being in stock and in my hot little hands before Monday!

So our stop on the way home was Union Presbyterian Church ( ).
What catches your eyes when you first see this church is how high it sits.  According to what I read, it's the highest point in Allegheny County.  There has been a church on this land since 1794 and this is the 4th one and was built in 1901.

I took many shots of the Church as I continued on my homework assignment (shoot BIG) but this shot of this headstone just spoke to me.  You can just barely read the name and based on similar headstones, I believe this is for a Revolutionary War Veteran.  When time permits, I think I will see what I can find out about David Boyce.  I am sure he served our country well.

So we make our stand and pray
on this Declaration Day
Give me liberty or give me death
I'll fight 'till my last breath
~Iced Earth-Declaration Day

Friday, March 23, 2012

I Love Chalk! (83/366)

There have not been many days where I had a tough time making a decisions on what picture to use for my blog.  Today, however, would be one of them.

Last night our Photography 102 Instructor handed down personalized home work assignments.  Mine was to give the macro lens a rest and shoot big.  OK, I can do that (gulp).....  Since our weather over the weekend is supposed to be better for ducks than humans with cameras, I spent my lunch hour roaming up and down Washington Rd. with my camera.

My two points of immediate interest where St. Bernard's and Mt. Lebanon United Presbyterian Church.  These two houses of worship are simply amazing pieces of architectural beauty.  Now I must confess. I love photographing churches both inside and out and in just under an hour, I shot over 100 photos.  This made the task of choosing one shot for today very difficult.

Well it was difficult till I walked around the side of United Presbyterian.  All along the sidewalk were chalk drawings done by the children in their daycare program.  I remember loving chalk as a kid and nothing beat drawing all over the driveway and sidewalks of our home.  This one anonymous artist caught my eye with her lovely tulips and sun.  I was a beautiful representation of today.

Now, don't worry, shots of St. Bernard's will show up next week after I get my new 50mm f/1.8 lens.

Truly wonderful the mind of a child is...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Looks Good Enough To Eat (82/366)

Lunch today consisted of stealing my office mate Michelle and heading out into the sunshine and across the street to have a little cell phone camera fun with the flowers that are blooming all around us.

These lovely little buds are called Grape Hyacinths and I introduced them to my Olloclip.  I think they both made a good first impression.  I need to take my big camera tomorrow so I can use my long lens to do a better job with the red tulips.

We also tested my Olloclip out on the 3S that Michelle was shooting with and it worked very well.  I think she NEEDS one now...LOL

Springtime is the land awakening.  The March winds are the morning yawns.
~Quoted by Lewis Grizzard in Kathy Sue Laudermilk, I love you

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Air Aiken (81/366)

Welcome to Aiken Elementary School in Green Tree, PA.  Aiken is our local elementary school and where my daughter attended and where my son is now in 3rd Grade.  Aiken also achieved Blue Ribbon Excellence in 2011 and I am proud to be part of this institution.

This is Daniel (my son) and Bella (one of his school mates).  Today was Daniel's turn at doing the morning announcements and reading his poem as one of Ms. Leitch's  Perky Poem People.  I don't make this stuff up, I promise.

This was also one of the rare occasion where Daniel got to ride with Mom to school.  Any day you don't have to take the bus is apparently a good thing.  I felt very tall (and old) as I sat waiting till it was his turn to go on.  Were some of these kids even old enough to be in school?  I don't remember mine being that small.  LOL

It's good to be able to enjoy these moments with your kids and I am glad my job allows me to do so.

Way to go Daniel, you did a great job!

Here is his poem....

My brother is a quarterback
I rarely catch a pass
and he can run a marathon
I soon run out of gas
he pitches for his baseball team
I pop up on his curve
and he's an ace at tennis
I can't return his serve

My dunks the basketball
I dribble like a mule
He swims like a torpedo
I flounder in the pool
he's accurate at archery
I hardly ever score
He boxes and he wrestles
I wind up on the floor

My brother catches lots of fish
I haven't any luck
he's captain of his hockey team
I can't control the puck
his bowling's unbelievable
I bowl like a buffoon
he said someday I'll start to win
I hope someday is soon.

~Jack Prelutsky

And if you are is his video ( ).  Be sure to turn up the sound because apparently the mic on my daughter's camera sucks.  Should have used my iPhone....LOL

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Welcome Spring! (80/366)

You know what I love about the beginning of Spring?  I love sleeping with my windows open.  I love the sounds of birds chirping and the smell of fresh air.

I also love the colors of the sky in the early morning and today was one of those beautiful mornings, so beautiful that I pulled off into a parking lot to take this shot.

Our view today is from in front of SS Simon and Jude and I liked the way the statues were against the morning sunrise.  Sometimes, you just take a picture because YOU like it.

Welcome's about time you got here!

People ask me what I do in Winter, when there's no baseball.  I'll tell you what I do.  I stare out the window and wait for Spring.
~Rogers Hornsby

Monday, March 19, 2012

Weeping Cherry Tree at Twilight (79/366)

I don't always have a chance to go out and shoot on a work day, but now as the warm weather is upon us and trees and flowers are in bloom, my chances of catching a great shot on a quick walk, are getting better.

Tonight, as I finished up Zumba class, I noticed the beautiful weeping cherry trees outside of the building.
I got a few strange looks from some of my gym mates but nothing stops me from getting the picture I want.   These lovely delicate flowers were perfect for my Macro Olloclip lens.

I can almost feel the tulips getting ready to bloom.

Let the photographing begin!!!

Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action is the fruit behind it.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fallingwater (78/366)

So today was my field trip to Fallingwater with my Photography 102 class.  I have seen photos, viewed the website and talked about going, but never got there.  Today, I finally made my way on the 70 mile road trip and it was so worth it!

This is my favorite shot of the house.  It's the VIEW that everyone goes for, and I had to do the same.

I had to have a little help with the settings to get the water to do it's "thing" but it really made a difference in the shot.

I look forward to our visit in June for Shannon's birthday and again in the Fall and in Winter.  It will be very cool to see the changes in the seasons.

Fallingwater in its settings embodies a powerful ideal-that people today can learn to
live in harmony with nature.
~Edgar J. Kaufmann, Jr., Visitor Center Exhibition Text

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Wee Bit O' Green (77/366)

So I am going to rave again about my Olloclip.  The best damn accessory for my iPhone and when I go get my new camera, a Macro lens will be a must.

So the weather has been so wonderful for the past week or so and when I headed out to Zumba this morning, the dew on the grass was  just screaming for me to take a shot.  So yes, there I was, bending over the stone wall in my driveway, getting my shots of the dew drops on blades of grass.  It was so damn cool.  I could have stayed there all day, but exercise called.

I got home and the sun was just hitting my front yard and woo-hoo, I had glistening dew drops now.  I must share, this is the first time I have ever thought my lawn looked good, LOL

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!

May those who love us, love us; and those who don't love us, may God turn their hearts; and if He doesn't turn their hearts, may He turn their ankles, so we'll know them by their limping.
~Irish Blessing

Friday, March 16, 2012

Right In My Own Backyard (76/366)

Today was one of those days I would have loved to have played hooky and avoided the office all together.
Then I come home and decide a nice 5K walk is in order and well, those $110 Brooks are really bothering my feet.  I have been trying to push through and even took out the insoles they suggested, put back in the OEM ones and added new Dr. Scholl's Air Cushion insoles.  Yeah, I got 2 laps in and the balls of my feet were burning and my toes were going numb....they are going back!

So it was home to test out the Olloclip's Wide Angle lens.  My daffodils are in bloom so I had a bit of fun with them.

I do think I prefer the morning sun, so I will be having them pose a bit more tomorrow.  I think it's just time to vegetate.

Daffodils that come before the swallow dares, and take the winds of March with beauty.
~William Shakespeare  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Poeme (75/366)

Thursday night is Photography 102 night for the next 7 weeks and as I was driving to pick up my prints for our homework assignment, I realized I had no shot for the blog yet.  Right outside of Ritz Camera in the South Hills Village Mall was a perfume kiosk.

I broke out the Olloclip and decided to test the Fish Eye option.  The colors in the kiosk case along with the interesting names and box shapes lent themselves to this view.

The salesperson, wasn't even at the kiosk till I got there and then I think I let him down that all I wanted to do was photograph his perfume display, not buy any.

Wear perfume whenever you want to be kissed.
~Coco Chanel

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Olloclip-Macro Lens (74/366)

So last night my new toy came but there was no real time to play with it.  So tonight, after I came home from my 5K walk, I decided to check it out.  Last week, the Olloclip ( Olloclip ) was on sale and a fellow G+er posted it and it was shared with me.  Now by the time I got home, the store with the sale was sold out, but I found my at for the same sale price.  That place has some great stuff!

Now what is the Olloclip you ask?  It's a clip on set of lenses  for the iPhone 4 or 4S.  Now since my phone is always with me and my big camera isn't, I figured this was a cool investment.  For $59.95 (sale price) you get the clip with a fish eye lens, macro lens and a wide angle.  Tonight I played with the macro lens.  Having never used a true macro lens, it took but a moment to figure out the fun one can have.

I can see this being something I use frequently when I want to do a little something different with pics I shoot with my phone. Tomorrow, we work with the one of the other two lenses.

Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.
~Dorthea Lange

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

St. Margaret's of Scotland (73/366)

This was our fourth day of beautiful weather and after a great 5K at the park with one of my Green Tree walking buddies, I had to go pick the kids up from CCD.  I was a little early but got the treated to a lovely sunset as I drove to St. Margaret's to pick them up.  Then my best friend gave me a call and we got to catch up for the evening.  Got some great news too, but I am going to be cautiously optimistic and won't share just yet.

This was shot on the back drive behind St. Margaret's School.  I love the warmth of the setting sun as it filters it's way through the naked trees.  Tomorrow, I get to test out my new  Olloclip for my iPhone.  It should prove interesting.

It's almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream.
~Bern Williams

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cloud Envy (72/366)

With the time change came the change in the sunrise.  Which meant, as I left for work today at a later time (the time change kicked my butt), I was still graced with a beautiful sunrise and clouds.  I love clouds and I still find myself envious when I see other photographers with their amazingly beautiful cloud shots.  I often wonder why we don't have those same clouds here in Pittsburgh.

Thank you Green Tree Road for yet another amazing beginning to the day, which unlike yesterday, went downhill after this lovely beginning...LOL

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous leading to the most amazing view.  May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.
~Edward Abbey

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Softly The Evening Came (71/366)

Sometimes, the beauty as the day ends, is more amazing than when it began.  Today, it was hard to imagine that it could be better, but it was.  Our day was filled with blue skies, sunshine and 60F+ weather.  Spring was upon us.

It was hard to not want to be outside, enjoying the gift Mother Nature gave to us today and that we did.  Work can wait.  Just remind me of that at 7:00AM tomorrow as I am on my way to the office. seeing a sunset and knowing who to thank.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saturday, in the park (70/366)

But it was March 10th, not the 4th of July.  It was also a chilly 28F when we left for downtown to go to the National Aviary.  It was necessary to be outside and doing something that did not relate to work this weekend.

Shannon was off camping with the Girl Scouts so Daniel joined me for a photo expedition at the Aviary.  We have lived here for almost 6 years and have not made it there yet.  We had a blast together and I took over 300 photos.

After our visit, we took a walk in the Allegheny Commons Park.  It's Pittsburgh's oldest park and was built as a "breathing" space for the citizens of the then, city of Allegheny.  It was meant to give those who lived in the sooty city, a place to escape.  Daniel and I enjoyed a lovely walk around the Park and Lake Elizabeth and I shot this picture from the far side, near the Soldier's Monument.  For more information on the park, feel free to check it out at .

It was so good to have my camera in my hands and to enjoy the beauty of a near Spring Day.

People talking, people laughing
A man selling ice cream
Singing Italian songs
Can you dig it, (yes I can)
And I have been waiting such a long time
For Saturday

Friday, March 9, 2012

Signs of Life (69/366)

Tonight was the first night all week that I have been home for the evening.  After a bit of tidying up I was peeking out the kitchen window and caught some color in flower bed in my yard.  Now, calling this section of my yard a flower bed is probably a stretch, but there is hope.

So I grabbed my camera and out I went to see the first flowers bursting forth.  I am sure by next week, when we get into the high 60's and 70's the rest of the bulbs are going to be bursting with color and I will be there to catch it!

Spring is Nature's way of saying, "Let's Party!"
~Robin Williams

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Real Thing (68/366)

One of my co-workers bought some old time Coke and decided to share it at work.  Now I am not a big soda fan but I do like one on occasion and today it hit the spot.  Complete with the old fashioned bottles.  It tasted GREAT....

It also brought back that jingle from my childhood.  C'mon, you know you want to sing along.....

I'd like to buy the world a home and furnish it with love
Grow apples trees and honey bees, and snow white turtle doves
I'd like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sometimes a Fantasy (67/366)

So tonight was yet another night out.  Another 5K walked and another 8pm dinner.  I was home from work in enough time to change, head to the park and get a 5K in before my PFO meeting.

I had shot a few more cloud shots, the sunrise on the way to the office and some interesting night skies but I was pleasantly surprised to find some of Dan's artwork still on display at school.  We missed the Art Show/Ice Cream Social a few weeks ago when  we had that nasty Norovirus.

This was the Fantasy Palace project and I just love the colors  and designs.  I think he gets his creativity from me....LOL

I have made a vow to myself to get these projects framed for my office and around the house.  I just have not gotten that far yet.

It's just a fantasy
It's not the real thing
It's just a fantasy
It's not the real thing
But sometimes a fantasy
is all you need!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Waiting For The Sun (66/366)

Another early morning on the way to the office.  So early that there was very little traffic.  At my normal drive time, Green Tree Rd. would be filled with cars and trying to catch a shot would not be easy.

This was the bright spot of the day.

Thank God for Pandora and an office with a door.

Can you feel it now that Spring has come
and it's time to live in the scattered sun...

Monday, March 5, 2012

Couch25K (65/366)

So what does $160 buy you these days?  Two pair of sneakers..LOL  After all our trudging around Malls, we founds our shoes of choice and I don't think Shannon has taken hers off.  Tonight I need to peek and see if they are on while she is in bed.

A special "Thank You" goes out to the staff at the Finish Line in South Hills Village for being oh so helpful and letting me use all my coupons and getting us in and out of there in record time.  Even after Dan decided to do some Under Armor shopping.

Now, tomorrow, we put my shoes to the test.  The Green Tree Walking Club have our first outing.  My new Adrenalize II by Brooks come with a 15 days guarantee and I will make sure they live up to their name and price.

The perfect shoes can change your life.  Just ask Cinderella!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

So Much For Spring! (64/366)

There was a forecast for snow today and tomorrow but we woke up to a fairly nice day.  Flurries followed us to Mass but nothing accumulated.  But after our successful shoe shopping trip to the South Hills Village Mall, bands of snow showers almost caused several white out during the day.  Poor Daniel would go out to play and be forced back in shortly there after because of blizzard like conditions.

So tonight, I went out for a creative night with a group of ladies who enjoy Card Making and as I was driving back home, this is the lovely sight I had as I was coming down my street.

So much for Spring?!?

A lot of people like snow.  I find it an unnecessary freezing of water.
~Carl Reiner

Saturday, March 3, 2012

What You Gonna Do In Those Shoes? (63/366)

Bowl...that's what we did.  It was Cub Scout bowling day at Nobel Manor Lanes and a good time was had by all.  Now I am sure my father, sister and brother-in-law were looking down and saying..."She is sooo not with us" but I pick up a bowling ball maybe twice a year.  I need redeem myself on the second game and hit 149....not too shabby with a alley ball and those oh so lovely rental shoes...LOL

Shoes have become too much of a theme in the last 24 hours and I could have easily called this post Shoe Hell.  After bowling we headed to the Mall because Shannon was way overdue for new sneakers.  I have coupons for $30 off and we head right for Finish Line.  That was the easiest part of this part of our day.  Shannon and I wear the same size shoe and after 6 different styles in both men and women's show and 45 painful minutes later, yeah, no size 9 in the Finish Line in Robinson Mall.  Then we went to 4 other shoe stores and it just wasn't happening.  I found a pair that I wanted but not on sale and I was still annoyed I could not use my $30 in coupons.  I am all about the sale/coupons.

So to make it all better we left the mall shoeless and I came home and made our favorite cheesy corn chower ( ) and Shannon started her search online.  Well, after a healthy helping of the chowder (if you don't follow the Pioneer Woman Cooks, you should, she is awesome!) she found a pair she liked and Praise The Show Goddess, the Finish Line at South Hills Village Mall had them and put them on hold for us tomorrow.

I guess to make this weekend complete, Shannon will need to model her new footwear tomorrow...LOL

Oh, no, you can't do that
Once you started wearing those shoes...

Friday, March 2, 2012

You think you had a bad day (62/366)

Yeah, there you are, just hanging while Mom is grocery shopping and the next thing you know, your shoe is gone.  Now, as Mom's we know socks go missing all the time, but shoes?

Tonight Dan and I had to run to the grocery store for all the fixin's for homemade chili and cheesy corn chowder.  As we got out of the car he noticed this little sneaker just hanging out in a puddle.  I sorta chuckled because I know some Mom is home trying to figure out where the heck the other shoe went.

The one thing children wear out faster than shoes, is parents....
John J. Plomp

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Look what I made in Art Class (61/366)

Miniature Chinese food container complete with "lo mein".  Dan was so proud of his piece of art that he actually asked for it to be my pic of the day.

So we got a little creative with the post processing and it got the Daniel "Seal of Approval".

And where would a good blog post be without a quote from one of my favorites on Chinese Food and chopsticks:

You do not sew with a fork and I see no reason why you would eat with knitting needles.
~Miss Piggy-Miss Piggy's Guide to Life~