Sunday, May 31, 2009

Open House

We have spent most of the weekend doing "Spring Cleaning" in anticipation of an Open House to be held today, Sunday. We are hoping that there will be some new interest in the home. Pete had to leave Saturday to spend time with his father in the hospital and to stay with his mother at her home so she wouldn't be left alone. That left me with the two girls to get everything in order.

We gave away over 2/3rds of the girls' clothes and half their toys. They have been wearing the same things for two years and some of the items could have made it another year, but I was so anxious to see them move on past size three. Somewhere in the cleaning process, I found time to take a break and coax the girls outside into the hot yard for a few pictures.
Pearl & Chloe Sitting
Pearl in a Chair
Pearl & Chloe
Chloe's Head Band
Chloe and Pearl on a Blue Chair
Pearl Up Close

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Funny Chloe

I realize that the past few posts have been mostly about Chloe and not so much about Pearl. I do have some news to post about Pearl, but I need to take a picture to go with it.

So for now, I will just mention one little moment I shared with Chloe the other day, mostly as an excuse to post this picture of her.

Last week I was putting my laundry away upstairs in my bedroom closet. Chloe asked me if she could do something. I cannot even remember what it was, so let's just assume she asked me if she could go ride her bike. To which I replied, "Not right now Honey. You need supervision". Without pausing for thought, she immediately responded, "Mom. I have SUPER VISION!" She even raised her voice like a cartoon character as she said it. I think she has a pretty good sense of humor for a five year old. She makes me laugh so many times every day.

Chloe in May

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Playing Around With Photo Editing

For some reason, this photo has proven to be a fun one for me to play with. I have tried several different combinations. It was a very random spur-of-the-moment shot. We had just gone out to dinner at Chloe's favorite restaurant, Akiras. It is a Japanese Teppan restaurant where the chef cooks in front of you on a big cooktop. Chloe and Pearl just love the onion volcanoes.

After dinner we came home and as I was unloading my camera from the car, I noticed how beautiful the red/orange blossoms were on our pomegranate tree and how nicely they contrasted with the wall of white star jasmine by our kitchen. I asked Chloe to pose for a picture and she was more than happy to comply. I think picking flowers is one of her favorite pastimes, although this time, it means a few less pomegranates in the Fall. I really liked all of the variations on this picture, but I think I like the Black and White best of all. Which one do you like the best?
Chloe Under Pomegranate Tree -Aged
Chloe Under the Pomegranate Tree in Color
Chloe Under the Pomegranate Tree B/W/R
Chloe Under Pomegranate Tree B/W

Friday, May 22, 2009

More Graduation Pictures

Here are the rest of the graduation pictures I promised to post. This is also a monumental post for me. It is my 300th post!

The graduation program was wonderful. The children sang a few songs, including Chloe's and my special song, "You Are My Sunshine". That's the one where she is holding the smiley face. All the children seemed to be enjoying themselves. Each child was asked what they wanted to be when they grew up. There were lots of doctors, cowboys and princesses and ball players. Chloe and one other girl said "Mommy" which made me feel flattered, however, I would have preferred she said "Architect". Maybe she'll be both.

Group II
Chloe grad 3
Chloe grad 2
Group I
Chloe grad 4

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chloe Graduates Preschool

Tonight was Chloe's preschool graduation program. It was a lot of fun and I have some cute group pictures to post later. For now, I will just leave you with this shot. I knew she picked blue glasses for a reason.
Preschool Grad

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Introducing the Umbrella Dress

I am back to work on my third design, which I call the Umbrella Dress. It has fantastic twirl appeal and does not use a lot of excess fabric. I am not totally satisfied with the design yet, so it will probably have some more variations before it actually goes into print. It is also very simple to make.

I was able to get Pearl out of the house to model this one for me; however, Chloe liked it a lot, so it will be her dress.
Pearl umbrella dress
Pearl umbrella dress 2
Pearl twirl

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fix It Friday

In an effort to learn more about Photoshop, I am participating in a challenge to alter a picture. Since I am trying to learn textures, I thought I would take this opportunity to practice.

The first picture is the original and the second picture is my edit. Most of what I did was the angled crop and the application of texture.

To see what others have done, click on the button below

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

In Search of Butterflies

We have been spending our warm Spring evenings in the yard enjoying the wonders of nature. Chloe and Pearl have a butterfly net, insect jar with screened lid, and a butterfly habitat to store the victims visitors in. We usually keep them for an hour or two and then return them to their business. It seems that lately, Chloe is more interested in exploring the yard than Pearl, so I don't have any current pictures of her. I guess when I am ready to blog about watching DVDs, then I can catch a shot of Pearl.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Mother-Daughter Tea at Preschool

Friday was a special day at the Preschool. It was a time for the children to celebrate Mother's Day with song and a fashion show. While there were numerous homemade dresses in the closet that I could have put on Chloe, she suggested her Sleeping Beauty Princess dress, and I agreed. I wanted her to get as much use out of it as she can, while it still fits. Another little girl also wore a Sleeping, Beauty Princess dress. I thought it a bit ironic that the Hispanic girl standing next to Chloe was wearing a traditional Chinese dress, apparently her favorite princess was Mulan.

They sang songs (one of which is special to Chloe and I, "You Are My Sunshine") and they modeled their outfits and then we had cookies and punch. Each of the children drew a portrait of their mother and the pictures were mounted on the wall behind the stage. I am posting a picture of Chloe with her portrait of me. I was impressed that she captured my red hair and my green eyes. She makes noses like little "B"s laying on their cute!
Chloe at Preschool
Chloe's Preschool Performance
Chloe & Mom's Portrait

Just for fun

Thursday evening I took one of the Pixel Fairy Princess' online photo classes on using Photoshop to pop colors, converting to black and whites, and implementing texture. Texture was the topic I was most interested in. Since then, I have played around with different images for a few hours. I think I have the technique pretty well figured out. The difficulty is in the artistry and application. Most everything I try looks terrible. Even when I think it looks great and I upload it to Flickr, then I go back and look at it and hate it. Here are a couple of my practice photos that weren't too bad. The texture in the third picture (which I think I applied a little too heavily) is from the ceiling in my house!

I will have to post a little later about Chloe's special Mother's Day presentation at her preschool. It was so much fun.
Pomagranate Flower
Getty Flower
Almond Blossom

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Playing Princess

Life has been so busy these past couple of weeks. I had to travel to Vegas to spend time with my mother in the hospital. She broke her hip, had surgery and then went through a week of rehabilitation in the hospital. They got her up and walking and she is now back at her home.

I felt strange not taking any pictures in almost two weeks. Sure, I had some evening time after work, but the motivation wasn't there and we have had a lot of doctor appointments with Chloe and me. Chloe had to have vaccinations and bloodwork so that she could enter Kindergarten next year. I just needed an annual exam.

This weekend, it was Dad's turn to leave town. He had business a few hours away, so I had time to relax at home with just the girls. I wanted to get the camera back out, so I told the girls they could dress up in their princess dresses (no arm-twisting required there) if they would let me take their pictures.

Here are some of the pictures from today.
Princesses Pearl and Chloe
Chloe Beauty 3
Pearl Belle 2
Chloe and Pearl
Chloe Beauty 2
Pearl Belle
Chloe Beauty