Sunday, February 22, 2015

Movie Night: Finding Vivian Maier (Documentary)

Finding Vivian Maier.  An excellent documentary for those who love photography.  I screamed (really loud) when I saw that the DVD was available through Netflix.  The film has been nominated for several awards and yet another one tonight.

Finding Vivian Maier is up for an Oscar, in the Documentary Feature category, at the 87th Annual Award Ceremony. Take a moment to view the trailer if you already haven't.

A couple of my photo enthusiast friends recommended it to me.  There were some live screenings in the Quad Cities, but my work schedule never matched up.  I knew nothing about it, except for the fact that the subject was photography.  That one word is all it took to get my attention.  Little did I know that I would be getting so much more.  There are moments of inspiration, sadness, and silence.  I don't want to give away to much about the film therefore leaving some elements of surprise for you to discover on your own.  

The DVD sleeve reads...When longtime nanny Vivian Maier died in 2009, she left behind thousands of photo negatives that she'd produced over the years.  But the now-famous shutterbug's unique body of work lay in storage until an amateur historian uncovered the trove.

My boyfriend and I planned a movie night, turned on the surround sound, and enjoyed some popcorn. I was glued to the screen and his review was good as well.  To read more about Vivian and her work click here.

The bad news.  There is an ongoing legal battle over Vivian's work.  It's quite sad actually.  Read more about it here.  John Maloof bought one of her storage boxes at an auction.  He's dedicated years (and hours) of research into this mysterious nanny.  The most current article that I found was from the Chicago Tribune and it states that John has put any future plans of distribution on hold.  It'll be interesting to see how this unfolds.

Until then I will enjoy this book I received for Christmas.  Highly recommended if your into street photography.  And I have high hopes that there will be more books.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Realistic Goals for 2015

I have three goals mapped out for the new year.  Why only three?  Because three is plenty.  Being realistic in what I want to achieve and how to make it happen, will help me reach these goals. 


Finding balance will guide me through the process.  

Improving my time management skills.  Time is precious and I look at it as a gift.

Developing new habits that work for me instead of against me.


I'm excited to share these goals with you.  Updates will be given as each draws closer to completion.

~My passion for photography will be transformed into a business.  Finally!  The business side of it is perhaps why I've shied away from it for so long.  Pricing structure, print fulfillment, copyright forms, etc.  It's all new to me, but I'm doing my research.

~These characters have been living a life inside of my head for a couple of years.  They even have names.  It's time for the story to be put down on paper.  I'm writing my first children's book.  Mostly for myself, but you never know where it'll go from there.

~Last week I opened a brand new online shop for my handmade goods.  If you look up at the page tabs above you'll see one that says SHOP.  It's under maintenance right now, but it exists.  Everything will be under one storefront where it'll be easier to manage.  My Etsy shops are going on a vacation, perhaps a permanent one.

Now that I've shared what I have in store for 2015, I ask you...

What are your goals?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Snapshots of Life Lately - Midwest Winter 2014

A snowstorm passed through the Midwest this past week.  As mentioned in my previous post I was looking forward to documenting the event with photographs.  This has been the first decent amount of snow we've received at one time since the Winter season started.  The boys enjoyed it as well.  

Have a nice weekend.  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Preserving a Memory With a Photograph

Have you ever woke up after a fresh snowfall and the first thing you wanted to do is grab your camera and take a picture (or seven)?  The same goes for the rainbow that follows the rain.  And so on.  I want to remember those moments and capture them with a photograph.

Let's talk about the quote above.  When you take a snapshot you freeze the moment so that you can go back to it later.  And never worry if your without the "good camera".  Just grab what's available. The images below were taken recently with my cell phone.  Once in awhile I'll overhear someone say that they wish they had a better camera with them to take a picture. Don't over think the situation, preserve it!

This year I'm aiming to print more of my photographs, place them in albums, and display them up on the walls in my house. Every photo has a story.  And my goal is to remember all of them for years to come.

Another Midwest Winter is upon us and so far it's been mild.  Hardly any snow.  Someone told me today that February is suppose to be bad.  Not what I wanted to hear, but oh well.  The option to move to LA is always there in the corner.

There's been a lot of rain paired with dangerous layers of fog that has passed through the area. Perhaps Mother Nature will go easy on us for the remainder of the season.  *pray*

So, I'm still waiting for that massive snowstorm.  Mostly so that I can photograph it. Crazy right?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

DIY Tutorial: Confetti Heart Valentines

Have you ever thought of placing confetti inside of the greeting cards you gift to others?  Sounds crazy right?  An ex of mine (yes, I'm giving him credit) use to give me cards that had confetti inside. When I opened them up a handful of hearts would fall into my lap. They were those shiny sequence ones you can buy at the store in the party section.

Why spend money on something you can make at home for less.  And it's a great way to use up any paper scraps you have lying around.

Gather your choice of paper and a heart shaped Fiskars punch.  Punch out the desired amount. Personalize your card with a message and then place the confetti along the crease of the card.

When you go to put the card inside of the envelope do so with the folded side first.  That way the confetti won't fall out inside of the envelope when the recipient removes it.

This easy tutorial not only works great for your Valentines Day cards, but for any occasion. Birthday celebrations, New Babies, Congrats, Just Because, etc.  Be creative and use various shaped punches. Do you recycle your magazines after you're done reading them?  Keep one on hand.  It'll make some colorful shiny confetti.  

Baily Schulting Photoshoot - First Haircut (Girl + Camera)

Baily had a trip to the spa last week for his first haircut.  Today we documented his new look with a photoshoot.  Puppies are a challenge to work with especially when it comes to persuading them to sit still.  After several outtakes I chose these seven. Enjoy!

If this is your first time meeting Baily, he was introduced on the blog here.  

Friday, January 2, 2015

The 52 Week Money Saving Challenge

Have you ever tried any of those challenges you pass while scrolling on Pinterest?  There's one for almost every subject. Exercise, photography, cooking, money, etc.  The 52 week money saving challenge caught my eye.  It's been circulating on Pinterest a lot this past month, so I decided to give it a try this year.

If your new to the challenge here's a simple breakdown.  For every week of the year, you would save an amount corresponding to the number of the week.  Week 1, save $1, Week 2, save $2, and so on. When you've reached the end of the challenge you'll have saved $1378.  Not bad right?

If you choose not to use the envelopes there's a free printable (link) below for a chart.  Personally I like using the envelopes. My current household budget utilizes them and they work well.   

Keep in mind that you can also reverse the challenge, starting with Week 52.  Then once the holidays creep up again you'll be putting in less as Christmas approaches.  Or you can also use the jump around method.  For those of us in retail our income fluctuates from month to month.

As I fill each envelope I'll paperclip them together to keep them separate from the empty ones in the box.  

Monica, the voice behind Fresh and Organized, created a useful chart to guide you through the 52 weeks.  You can download the free printable here.  Scroll down once you see the chart above for the link.

Good Luck!  I'll post an update in six months on my progress.

Are you participating in any challenge this year?
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