Tag Archive for 'Photos'

Shadow Portraits in the Grand Canyon

Back when I was writing about our trip to the Grand Canyon and beyond, I mentioned that we took other shadow portraits there in addition to the one I shared at the time.

The one I’ve had on the header of the blog since then is this one:

Shadows on the edge

Shadows on the edge

I love it. I even made my business cards out of it, and I use it for my Twitter ID photo.

Well, you may have noticed that I just changed the blog header to another shadow portrait we took that same day. (If you’re reading this in a feed reader, click on over!)  I may switch back and forth between the two every now and then…just to keep you on your toes!

See the three of us in the tree?

See the three of us in the tree?

I love it!

The colors make me think of fall yet remind me of the summer. It’s the best of both worlds.

I love this time of day

The sun has set behind the mountains

The sun has set behind the mountains

and the heat of the day

and the heat of the day

has been replaced

has been replaced

by cool shades of lavender.

by cool shades of lavender.

Is 40 a lot or a little?

Wow…month 40. Whenever we count out ages by months, it seems so surreal, doesn’t it? Forty. Is that a lot? Is that a little? The answer to that question changes on a moment by moment basis sometimes. 😉

When I told Claire that I needed to take her picture today, because she was 40-months old, she said, “No, I’m not! I’m three!”

When will I stop doing the monthly photos? I don’t know. I haven’t decided. If you know me, you know how hard it is to get me to stop doing something I’m already doing, especially if it fits so nicely into a patterned schedule.

So…it’s the 30th, so I took a photo. And, since I took a photo, I may as well share. 🙂

Check out Claire at 40-months!

Check out Claire at 40-months!

And, for some fun comparisons, check out this link for the other month-at-a-glance photos!

Claire’s new hiding place

Last week, we arranged the furniture in our upstairs living room.

For years, the large area rug we love and adore has cuddled up against whatever piece of furniture is sitting on it and creates this horrible wrinkle.  We’ve tried different methods to alleviate this problem, but nothing has worked.

Finally, we decided that the only way to remedy this is to rearrange so that none of the furniture rests on or touches the rug in any way.

Of course, it can’t be that simple.

The matrix we need to use to do this is full of criteria.  We can’t have the couch up against the railing, because the preschooler would see it as a trampoline with a very tall and hard landing should she go flying over the edge.  You can’t cover any of the heating vents.  You try every option that doesn’t require moving the china cabinet that weighs more than my car…when it’s empty, let alone taking the time to remove all of the delicate plates, etc.  Ficus had to move to make room for the purple chair, and we can only hope she likes her home over in the corner by the dining room table.

Click photos to enlarge.

The Great Upstairs Living Room Rearrange Project of October 2008

Ficus used to live over behind the purple chair.

The Great Upstairs Living Room Rearrange Project of October 2008

Now she lives over by the big window. And, you can see that pesky wrinkle in the rug!

So, with this over there, and that over here, and this like that, and that like this, it works!  We finally got the room set up just the way we liked it, while matching all the criteria on our list!

Of course, with these new changes in place, Claire discovered a new hiding place.

Can you tell where she’s hiding?

Can you tell where she’s hiding?

No? Look again.

No? Look again. She is starting to emerge.

There she is!

There she is!

She loves it in there.

She loves it in there.

And, she is really good at getting out!

And, she is really good at getting out!

She is also really good at getting back in!

She is also really good at getting back in!

She just has to be careful with her fingers, but she is learning!

She just has to be careful with her fingers, but she is learning!

Is that the face of someone who has been trapped in a wooden box?

Is that the face of someone who has been trapped in a wooden box?

Had you discovered our child spends a good portion of the day trapped in a solid wooden box, you’d probably assume that we forced her in there against her will, and you’d call Child Services on us. When, in reality, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Daddy’s father (Claire’s PaPa) made this end table for him years ago.  Until The Great Furniture Rearrange of October 2008, we’d had it turned and wedged so that little fingers couldn’t open the door.  None of us realized that it wasn’t being used to its full potential.

…until now!  😉

Today is Day 5 of 30 in the NaBloPoMo Challenge! Check it out and/or join in the fun! A bazillion games of Hide & Seek played AND a post for Day 5? Yes, ready or not…here I come!

More precious than jewels

Yesterday, Claire had her Young Preschoolers Class, and just like all the other times, I barely got a “Bye, Momma!” out of her when I dropped her off and signed her in. I decided to take all of this as a good sign that she’s adjusting well to the independent life I want her to lead. This is, after all, the reason we put her in these classes.  The classes meet on Mondays for just an hour-and-a-half, but they are a great way to start nurturing her independent spirit.

Still, I won’t lie; it stung a little.

No kiss.
No hug.
Barely a wave.

I tried to not let it bother me, and I left quickly…partially for her benefit and partially for mine.

I went to an appointment and ran some errands before making it back to the parking lot a few minutes early.

When it was time to pick her up, she was thrilled to see me. My heart swelled with joy, and I realized that she still loves me. She still needs me.  Of course, I already knew this.  Duh.  Right?

Anyway…imagine my surprise when she showed me a gift she’d made for me in class. Something just for me!

Click photo to enlarge.

A new bracelet for Momma

A new bracelet for Momma

The teacher had the kids make bracelets with beads and pipe cleaners. What a great idea!  They could make one for whomever they chose: someone else or themselves.  She chose to make one for me!  And she put the beads on all by herself!  My new piece of jewelry is gorgeous, and I love it. (And, Claire took this picture of me and my new bracelet when we got home!   She did a great job!!)

She babbled all the way home about her adventures in the class and how she’d picked all of the colors “especially for YOU, Momma.” My heart melted and ran all over the front seat of my car when she said that. Why had I even let those other thoughts creep into my mind?

So, I may not get a kiss or a hug every time I leave her for the class, but I get the peace of mind knowing that she’s growing up into a well-rounded, socially-strong individual, who still loves her Momma.

And, sometimes, I get really cool jewelry out of the deal, too.

😉

Today is Day 4 of 30 in the NaBloPoMo Challenge! Check it out and/or join in the fun! And, with that…my outfit AND the post for Day 4 is complete!

I see you!

If you read The Casual Perfectionist in a FeedReader, click on over to check out the new header. Yes, I’ve changed it again!

Click to enlarge:  Peek!

Click to enlarge: Peek!

Last night, Daddy and I were looking at different pictures that we’d taken over the last few weeks. When he saw that I had this as my computer desktop background picture, he fell in love with it all over again. He thought it would make the perfect header picture for the blog, and Claire and I agreed!

It’s a good autumn picture, because you can see the leaves in the background, and it really captures the typical playful mood around here.

No, it’s not a Shadow Portrait, but I’m sure we’ll do some more of those…either before or after the snow flies. We also found some other creative shots that may show up in a blog header in the future. We’re open to new ideas and whatever strikes our fancy, here at The Casual Perfectionist, so don’t be surprised if some other fun photos show up.

In the meantime, enjoy the new header!

Today is Day 3 of 30 in the NaBloPoMo Challenge! Check it out and/or join in the fun! A different blog header AND a post for Day 3? Two missions accomplished!

Without the pointy hat, it would have been a typical Friday Night

😉

Okay…maybe not EXACTLY like a typical Friday Night.  We normally don’t eat this much candy.  🙂

This year, for Halloween, I had grandiose plans of being The Fairy Godmother to Cinderella Claire.  (Last year, I dressed up like a Queen to her Princess, and I didn’t want to do that again this year.)  I even had an old sheet that was the perfect color for The Fairy Godmother’s cloak.  As time ticked on, my enthusiasm and motivation to create my own pattern and make a cloak without ruining the sheet (we use that old sheet for so many things!) started to dwindle.  I looked in various stores to see if I could be tempted to spend an outrageous amount of money on a cloak, but no one had the right style, so I wasn’t forced to make a responsible decision.

I needed my own Fairy Godmother to step in and help with the task.

But, she never came.  Apparently she’s really busy this time of year.

So, one day a couple weeks ago, I decided to go to Plan B.  As Claire and I were looking through my closet, I found one of my trusty witch’s hats, and I looked at the plethora of black attire in my closet.

I told Claire my plan, and she was so excited!  “Don’t be Ursula, the Sea Witch, Momma!” was her only request.  She had a blast helping me pick out the outfit.  (Every day with a preschooler is Dress Up Day, so none of this was out of the ordinary for our house!)  😉

And, as you can see, I held up my end of the bargain:  There are no tentacles in this picture.  (Click photos to enlarge.)

Momma?  Is that you?

Momma? Is that you?

Momma & Claire

Momma & Claire

Yes, I have hidden my true identity in the above photos, but my husband has refused to have any of his photo published in a public forum…and he even had a mask!  Boo! 🙂 (But!  If you check out our family website or my personal Facebook page, you may or may not see that the Phantom of the Opera looks an awful lot like my hubby.)  😉

As Claire and I visited the houses on our cul-de-sac last night, we could see him standing in our doorway, his white mask glowing eerily from the black-light he’d put in one of our outside lights!  The orangish-yellow candle light in the pumpkins on the step dancing with the shadows really complimented the bluish-purple glow from the light.

Without the flash, you can see the complimentary colors.

Without the flash, you can see the complimentary colors.

When we were done showing our costumes to all the neighbors, Cinderella Claire and I took over Door Duty, and The Phantom busied himself with the baking of the pizza.  And this time, Claire provided the dessert!  And, we each only had a couple pieces …okay, maybe one more…but that’s it!  😉

Today is Day 1 of 30 of NaBloPoMo!  Check it out and/or join in the fun!  In the meantime, around here, Day One is…done!

Tree Hugger

Note:  Click on photos to enlarge.  Clicking a second time will show more detail.

Last weekend, the weather was gorgeous.  I was very fortunate to have a chance to play with Claire out in the leaves.  (We also took some shadow portraits…)

She had a great time playing with the Linden.  At one point, she stood up on the little shoots coming out at the base and said, “Look at how high up I am!  I can see Daddy’s flagstones from way up here!”

Way Up High

Way Up High

Keep in mind…she was just mere inches off the ground.  😉

Then, we decided to play Hide & Seek.  She loves this game, and she still hasn’t mastered the “real” way to play, but that’s okay.  I’m cherishing these moments that are so full of childlike naïveté.  It won’t be long before she’ll have all the rules down, and then I’m sure she’ll give me a run for my money.

In the meantime, here are some good shots:

Hide & Seek

Hide & Seek

You can see Daddy’s progress on the rocks in the background.

She's spotted the surveillance...

She has spotted the surveillance...

She’s figured out that the camera is there…

Hide & Seek

...but she hasn't moved.

…but she still doesn’t realize I know where she is.

Peek!

Peek!

I see you!  This is my favorite shot of the afternoon.

one... two... three...

one... two... three...

And, then it was her turn to count and my turn to hide.  And, if you must know, she told me to hide behind the tree.  And why not?  It had been the perfect place for her!

🙂

Autumn Shadow Portrait 2008

The Shadow Portrait is back in the header!  (If you read this in a FeedReader, go check it out!)

This last Friday, we were able to play outside in the gorgeous weather and take pictures of the fall leaves in the backyard.  Daddy had the day off from work and was working on landscaping, and Claire and I were having a great time helping him and playing hide-and-seek.  It was a wonderfully warm, fall day.

As the sun got to the right angle, Daddy took a break, and we wandered around the yard playing with our shadows, trying to capture the wonderful autumn colors and our shadows in the same frame.

The key to getting a good shadow portrait is to just keep clicking the camera and sort them out when you have a chance to sit down at the computer.  You never know which ones will look the best or capture the message you’re trying to convey.

I got a lot of good shots, and as I looked at all the photos, one just leapt off the screen.

Click to enlarge: Autumn Shadow Portrait 2008

Click to enlarge: Autumn Shadow Portrait 2008

Normally, I try to hide the shadow of the camera in The Shadow Portrait, and those pictures rarely make the cut.  But, this one spoke to me.  This shadow portrait captures exactly how I feel when I write.  I try to capture bits and pieces of our lives and record them.  I don’t want to forget the details.  The everyday details are an integral part of everything.  They make up our lives, but they are easily lost in the passage of time.

How can something so important at the time be forgotten?  It’s because the tiny details are no match for the big picture.  Many times, something happens, and I have the urge to write it down.  Then, I’ll think to myself, “Okay…I’ll write about this…but how could I ever forget this!?”

But I do.  Often times, I look through the archives of the things I’ve written and the memories come flooding back to me.

It just solidifies in my mind that I won’t remember these things on my own.  I need to record this.  I don’t want to forget the details.

That’s what this picture represents to me.

This picture, which was just a random moment, shows a typical shot of the three of us.  I’m the recorder of the details (this time, my tool is the camera…and now my writing…).  If you could hear what was going on when the camera captured this image, you’d hear the three of us laughing.  You can see the interaction between Claire and Daddy.  She’s showing him a stick that she’s found, and he’s answering all of her questions about it and the world around her.  In fact, just after I snapped this photo, she bent down and asked us both why the reddish plants in the picture are called Dragon’s Blood.  How did the Dragon get hurt, and why did he bleed all over the plants, and where is he now?

This picture is so us, and I love it.

I don’t ever want to forget the moment we had playing in the leaves, exploring all the colors of autumn, and explaining that no Dragons were harmed in our backyard.  And, now, I won’t.

The Shrinking Ladybug Sweater Set

Before Claire was born, one of my hubby’s cousins knitted a sweater set for her. By the time Auntie M was done with it, it became a very limited edition, because of the complexity of it. In fact, I think we own the only set! I’m not a knitter, so I can only imagine how tricky a pattern like this is.

Click photos to enlarge.
Clicking a second time will show more detail.

Cute as a Lady Bug Button

Cute as a Ladybug Button

Lady Bugs on the sweater and the hat

Ladybugs on the sweater and the hat

It’s beautiful.
It really is a work of art.

In January of 2007, Claire was finally big enough to wear it. It was still a little big on her, but we got some great pictures.

Lady Bug Sweater Set

Ladybug Sweater Set

Well, I’m happy to report that it still fits! I think this may be the last season for it, though.

When photo shoots go wrong…

When photo shoots go wrong…

Take Two!

Take Two!

Isn’t it amazing how much she’s grown!? Or, is that sweater set shrinking? Surely that’s gotta be it… 😉