Wednesday, December 14, 2016

All About Those...Shoes

There comes a certain point in every girls life when her feet just, stop growing. This must have happened for me around the 6th or 7th grade or so, coincidentally, I've been wearing a size 6.5 or 7 shoe and ring size ever since!
And, I love this size I've been gifted with. It's a thrill every time I (or my mom) go shoe shopping- almost all the displayed items fit me perfectly so I rarely have to dig through boxes underneath looking for my size. Mom can be shopping 100 miles away and text me a few pairs that I don't even need to try on to know, Yes, I want them!  When I worked at Famous Footwear, I almost always wore slip ons in case I "needed" to try on a few pairs while tidying up the store :-0
My feet have been good to me- only for a few months during Rainiers incubation did they swell to grotesque-for-me proportions, leaving me with the fear of shoe replacement shopping. I managed to turn that fear into joy at having to replace the 70+ pairs I owned at the time; reward for a baby delivered lol. But, lucky for Ray I quickly returned to normalcy and it's only through an act of extreme will power that I've been wittling down my "collection."
Enter the children's feet... and the fact that, because they are still growing, we get to go shoe shopping! I can hardly believe it when we leave without a pair for mom... I take mine home in photo form, now. This way, I have all the joy of the purchase without it affecting my small wallet, and none of the, I don't know where I thought I'd wear THOSE, guilt.
Hi, my name is Anna, and

That's right, guilt over the dust film that forms on the tops of my heels. Guilt that the riding boots don't go riding. Guilt that I've never worn my boots with the fur out clubbin' (ok, that's a lie, but it was like, 5 years after the song was a hit). Guilt that the one pair of boots that actually cost more than $30 get worn?! I know, it's an Anna thing. A shoe lover, that's me!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sparks of Faith

Well, I had high hopes for Waypoint Church's Sparkle event yesterday and it did not dissapoint :-) Besides the glitter on every table, there were the brilliant smiles of my fellow MOPS friends to buoy my holiday fervor. Reminiscing over setting up my grandmother Ruth 's nativity set brought about both tears and laughter- what ever happened to all our baby Jesus'?!
Hearing my tablemates reflections on the Reason for the Season, and our speaker's shared gratitude for the lessons Jesus shared with his followers... well, I suppose it was fitting that Rainie and I were then invited by three seperate families to stroll through the Living Nativity put on by Discovery Baptist of Gig Harbor, where my sweet friend Adria and family showed us a glimpse of life in Bethlehem that first Christmas evening. 

Lo and behold, there lay an actual baby in the manger, quietly allowing a small nation of children to visit with their own coos and gasps of awe. I remember when I first realized Jesus was a real person...what a wonderful overlap of memories our oldest daughter and I were able to share with our framily (friends that are family) this evening ♡

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Art deco

Every year I strive to create decorative spots of Christmas magic about our home which reflect our current life style and location, etc. This year, I've tried to banish red in general and focused on rustic bronzed metals, unfinished wood, and feathers. One of my favorite little spots features a quartet of polar bears who seem to point toward the glittering star mounted high on the mantel mirror across the, "Do you see what I see?"
We have antique wooden duck decoys all over the house throughout the year.  I have been repeatedly told they are a sign of a well decorated home set for the holidays as well. A little mini garland around their neck is sure a cute way to dress them up!
Living in the Pacific Northwest, we have an abundance of verdant green to gaze upon all year long as well, so I only put a bit of faux garland about and we decided as a family to forgo a live or cut evergreen tree this year. We have often had a tree decorated outside, and we still do, but it's on the front porch!
Our main living space's window looks into the back yard, so often times I'll just take a break out front and gaze on the twinkling lights reflecting off a few (red!) ornaments also hanging out there. There is also a sort of sea star sitting on top of a small weeping willow out there, next to a metal sculpture of a sting ray I had made years ago. Nautical goes a long way at the Bradshaws :-) You should see the carved driftwood dolphin mounted near the ceiling with his Santa hat on!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Moms Are Awesome

I've come to realize over the course of this year, how important regular interjections of scripture are for my life. I prefer to have them come to me as opposed to seeking them... and for me, the best place to give up my woes and receive the Word is in church. Thank goodness my local MOPS group meets at a very close to my home church; I can usually attend the once-a-month meetings. In fact, there are times when I know, I need to be there.
Being a mom can involve a lot of hard work. Gratifying of course, but still. For someone like me who is for the most part quite selfish, all this giving of myself without expectation of return can at times be trying. Enter my fellow moms who are experiencing the very same trials. Blessings from Heaven, these acquaintances who have become friends help me to cherish these times instead of constantly counting down "how much longer till they move out?"
So, meetings usually go something like this:
One of my favorite smiling faced friends
with one of my favorite craft projects  <3
Kids and I arrive ten minutes after the official start time of 9:30. My seat is always saved, and I sometimes drop a dish off at the overflowing brunch potluck table and then escort my children downstairs to spend time with devoted childcare volunteers. Back up I go to fill my plate with yummies and then make my way smiling and helloing to the table I've been assigned to.
There are prizes for getting pregnant, having babies, being born yourself, and speakers galore to gain wisdom and insight from. There are hilarious stories shared, as well as grief stricken implorations to enjoy every day as if it were your last one to love with.
Amongst my table mates there are also discussion questions that allow us to share as much or as little as we're comfortable with. I usually can't keep my mouth shut or my tears from flowing, and there are listening ears and tissues at the ready too. Finally, after all the plates are collected and we're feeling quite giddy with the atmosphere of love that has been built up by an hour of celebrating life's realities- or maybe it's just a sugar high- we break for CRAFTS!
Can you guess this is always an exciting moment for me :-)
I usually try to leave a few moments before closing to avoid the rush of collecting the kiddo's and then it's home for lunch and reflection on all the values I recognize as being part of the joy of living. It's truly awesome, how many times I get just what I need from that Monday morning to carry me through to the next month's get together.
Sometimes I need the comfort of being part of a larger crowd of like-minded individuals to feel like, all this- the ups, the downs, the joy and sadness, the waiting and the wishing it was overs, the being afraid, the knowing how well I'm doing- all this is so worth being a part of. Who could ask for anything more?


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Using the F word

Today, I'm going back in time to a piece I wrote last year on how grateful I am for the "f-"word...
Forgiveness isn't always easy to earn. I'm sure there have been situations where you've thought to yourself, oh I could never forgive this! And, don't get me wrong, sometimes that's entirely appropriate. But to be on the offending side, thinking you've lost (or inevitably will lose) it all...well then all sorts of reasons why you should be granted amnesty seem obvious.
Forgiveness isn't something you can convince another to give you, either. Sometimes that idea can get in the way of working to repair the damage you inflict until someone reaches the point of saying, enough is enough!
Forgiveness opens a door in your heart that unwise or unplanned decisions, foolish or foolhardy acts, and deceitful cover-ups tend to close. Maybe if we all loved ourselves a little more, believed in our pureness a little more convincingly, we could love others better as well...and I believe there's a book about that!
Having been on the receiving end of heaping helpings of forgiveness in my life, I guess my final thought for now is that, hate hurts. Resentment builds walls. And, sometimes, people (or horses) make mistakes. So open your heart to a situation you've vowed not to allow forgiveness towards, and send love in that direction instead. Learn from those examples that have come to mind as you read this monologue.
This Thanksgiving and holiday season, I wish you pleasant days, however they're spent. And if the food gets burned, your team loses the game, you run out of pumpkin pie and can't have it for breakfast tomorrow,  etc., just remember...Forgive! Forget the hate but not the lesson! (And maybe assign cooking duties to someone else for next year)


Monday, November 21, 2016

Season of Selling?

November is a time for gratitude, and I always feel that when I get to spend the day with my mom in a booth selling whatever we've made to shoppers in the mood to purchase handmade awesomeness.
We decided to take part in my local elementary school's first such event, and it was a truly enjoyable-albeit chilly- day in the gym.
The best part of the day, aside from being with my mom and sharing a delicious breakfast she packed for me, was when our good friend Becca stopped by. Not only did she exclaim as many other's did over my mom's super cute snowmen made from socks of all things, but she also bought a handful of pre-made scrapbook layouts I'd created.
Later that day, Becca really set my heart aglow when she texted me the completed layout- I love the picture she chose! You know, for some scrap bookers, only using one photo on a page can be a bit of a challenge, but I have grown to enjoy it because the photo really gets to take center stage this way.
This would be an easy page to recreate, or "scraplift" as I say; just take a 12x 12" piece of solid cardstock, this will be your base. Then take a 12x12" piece of patterned paper, and cut it down to 11.5x11.5." Next, you'll need either some striped patterned paper, like I've used here, or some border stickers, or some ribbons, and lay them to one side or the other, across the top, or down on the bottom- it's your layout! Add a photo mat, a title and a journaling box under a light sprinkling of embellishments, and you're set to scrapbook!
Here's another one of those layouts I'd made- this is actually just a photo! I have no physical version of this any longer, but I was still able to use it for a photo of a Pampered Chef party I hosted as a fundraiser for our preschool. How? Through the magic of a favorite (free!) app I have installed, called Photo Grid! I opened up the photo, added text and the photo, and bata-bing-botta-boom: Insta-sta-scrap!
Let this be a reminder to you that it can pay to take photos as you go, before you actually add the photos, haha. You could use a few pages to create a whole album of template scrapbooking, right on your phone, and then send it off to a photo book service for additional cool points :-)

Friday, November 4, 2016

If this is a dream...

"Last night I dreamt of San Pedro..."
Well, no not really, last night I actually dreamt of being in my own bed, cradled in my lover's arms. No children ensconced warmly on either side of me, no concern about whether the time of morning awareness being appropriate for rising, and no breakfast to prepare literally looming on the horizon... just me and my honey, alone and in love. Fully awake at the lovely hour of whatever comes before o'dark-thirty, and with my overly sensitive heartstrings twanging, I took a moment to just lay in bed and thank the stars I knew were still out for this golden opportunity I'm enjoying... cause folks, this week the girls and I are living it up on La Isla Bonita, Kauai!
My mom has invited our family on many a vacation since it's inception, but this fall is the first time the girls and I have  been able to join her. This opportunity means so much to me! Number one, my mom is FUN to be around. She's my go-to for going anywhere, really. Wine tastings? Check. Shoe shopping? Check and double check. Scandinavian folk dancing? Oh yeah, we're there!
Number two, I'm simply grateful to still have my mom in my life. Aside from bouts of teen angst interferring with our relationship many moons ago, there was that damn breast cancer she had to go through getting in the way of our entertaining each other last year.
She has been promising for about the last ten years that she would have her ashes spread in Hawaii for no other reason but  than to send me here for an undeniable purpose, but man, am I glad that's not why we're here this week :-)
We are instead spreading smiles. The radiance of our similiar ready-to-share-grins engages both my daughters and the strangers we've met about town, and invites them to participate in the love we share for each other and our shared experiences.
Number three, if I need to put one down, is that, if I'm honest, I've been a little jealous of my in-laws for having had two week-plus vacations spent soley in the company of their son and grandchildren. Granted, they live thousands of miles away most of the year, but STILL. I'm loving it that my mom finally gets us all to ourselves (especially me)!
So here we are, living it up Aloha style- full of love,  full of life, full of spirit(s)... and craft supplies at the ready, of course <3

Friday, October 14, 2016

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Fall Photo Fun

Another nod of wonder to embracing some technological shortcuts-  like having a blank scrapbook page photograph to superimpose my fall photos on to!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

Monday, October 3, 2016

Spotlight on Sunday on Monday

   She's got....personality  <3 
You know something I am never lacking? Printed photos. The feeling of a fresh stack of prints from Walgreens contained within an envelope riding on the passenger seat next to me is one that literally gives me a thrill just thinking of. Hey, I basically scrapbook for a living so those are all little inheritable CraftWithAnna tax write-offs! You know something we don't have many of? Professional family portraits. Living within our age of digital photography, combined with my desire to take better photos of my family, to really capture our lives and twinkling eyes more naturally, has always made getting into a studio with the four of us an unimportant task.
Enter gala nights on board our cruises. Enter fabulous outfits that we would normally never wear! Enter a REAL photographer, huge umbrella'd lights, and... posing in front of strangers with little to no direction, on the way to dinner, with two hungry kids and a very possibly inebriated hubby?!
Yes, it's true that part of the reason my family was so anxious to dine was that I made them all pose for my own photo session in our cabin :-O  I had each of my subjects stand near the natural light coming in from the window, then turned them in a few directions and coaxed familiar grins and real smiles from them. Oh and we couldn't forget mom! Thank you, self-timer. THEN I allowed us to progress to one of the photo stations set up to capture our fellow travelers in all their regalia.
Check it out; we totally nailed it! I mean, of two poses and quick photographs taken of my reluctant and ravenous family, this one has those gleams and twinkles and even the dramatic background that I love to capture with my android lens.
I even captured this photo, with that same lens, albeit "illegally" from the display gallery. Cause people, I was trained by the best in the art of sneak photography/photobombing. And, you should know after reading a few posts of mine that I would much rather hubby saved his money for (wine and) organic food stuffs than to pay $47 for ONE photo that we may or may not ever be put on display in our home. The home where we may or may not lounge about dressed in our (birthday) suits and glittering dresses. I do wear glittering shoes often... :-)
Besides, there was still the po$$ibility that we could run into a paper products store of some interest along the way... 


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Towel Talk

 ooo, ooooh, pick my room next!
Raise your hand if you've been on a cruise and were delighted each night by the hand folded towel animals left amongst the once scattered but now nicely arranged items in your cabin? These small creations are such a highlight for many, including me. Including our two girls, and actually, including Ray as well. He even found a very old brochure of how to fancy fold napkins  from a cruise taken in his previous life for me after our return from Alaska in 2012.
Who's my little Polar Bear? Sunny -despite the cold
When we saw the listing in our daily itinerary for the towel folding demonstration onboard the Amsterdam, we ran around trying to locate the theatre, breathlessly arriving to sit on the edge of our seats to see how the magic...unfolded :-) The demo did not disappoint, featured a swan, jelly fish, elephant, dog, and monkey, and also managed to put hubby in a state of needing a nap lol.
 No bother, Rainie got to play with her peers under the supervision of Miss Paula in Club Hal, and Sunny and I explored the ship, splashed our toes in the pool, and then jumped in wholeheartedly after obtaining permission to swim from dad, who cares so much about us as to regulate the amount of chlorine we are exposed to <3  And was it cold, swimming in the frigid waters of Stephen's Passage towards Juneau? YES! But, don't we make the cutest little blue popsicles you ever did see?!
Interestingly enough, the next day there was listed on the itinerary... "Polar Plunging." Been there, done that, or, oooh we can get a certificate saying what we did yesterday was exemplary...
You know we earned the right to be called certifiable with another dip in the glacial, floating ice berg filled waters of Alaska's Inside Passage!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Table Talk

I'm big fan of what comes from, and this September she is guiding subscribers through a series of prompts that have allowed me to ponder, what New Thing I have learned each day. I sincerely enjoyed using her daily prompts last year to start conversations with my family about what I was learning, as well as what they have or have yet to learn. There are so many stories I have heard as an older person that may have been quite influential had they been told to me as a younger person...but, then again, maybe not! After all, don't most teenagers think they have an edge over "old people?" Hmmm. Anyway, I enjoyed the process of talking at the table with our children about lessons learned and committed to doing the same this year, once the course, open through and to the month of September, opened up.
Committed... that's what I should be, for thinking that I would be able to follow an even more rigid system of recording thoughts and topics, when even last year's section of spiraled notebook paper fell short of capturing the full 30 days. I mean, how many times have I taken a very simple, effective process and transformed it into a completely uninteresting, utterly avoidable task? The answer reader, is MANY. So yeah, I placed divided page protectors in my working scrapbook album, labeled each one with a easy-peel-off label, and even sectioned off a special spot for our trip to Alaska pictures taken last week. All this was done days before the class even started!
And then, I didn't write down more than two or three of the subjects. In a notebook, on in my planner. Not even on the pretty pieces of patterned paper I specifically put in my planner with which I intended to record upon. 'Cause I didn't write out a single story shared. And, truth be told, I hardly shared a bit of what I read in my emailed PDF's nearly every day (I did read the prompt most every day. Well, more days than not) with anyone else, let alone my family members.
All this not doing kind of, bothered me. I started to do the, why did I even do all that work in my album, mumbo jumbo. Creative process interferers are what those sentences are. My month didn't go the way I wanted it to and the intentions I had fell somewhat short. And that's okay. I've learned that every project, even a repeated one, can be unlike another. I didn't stop looking for lessons, I just didn't validate them with recorded verbiage. I felt them occur, more than made them happen, I guess.
My cardmaking is a perfect example of when this works well in my life; not only can I hardly create two very similar cards, two made to be exactly alike is practically unfathomable. That's actually what makes them valuable to me... each one is made with a person or story in mind at the time. I want each recipient and or sender to feel they have the perfect thing in their hand, to feel reached for, remembered. Which brings me to another great example of creating without standards of exactitude; my scrapbook pages. I can follow the exact same pattern/template/sketch or what have you, but depending on which photo, patterns of papers, color schemes, and embellishments are combined, the feeling of the writing, the wording of the title, etc- they will all work towards a new look that is unique to the layout and not the sketch followed.
So, back to my not following the "rules" for Learning Something New Everyday, which Shimelle repeats, are not in existence. Sitting at the breakfast table with my family on our second day at sea, cruising toward the capital city of Alaska (pictured in the previous post), I laughed when I realized the East Indian family sitting behind me had their very own "Food Saver" brought from home being dished onto the husband's meal.
"Food Saver," you ask? Well, most of know someone who just has to have some Thing on their food to make it palatable- be it black pepper, salt, tobacco sauce, ketchup, etc. My honey has constantly changing add-it-to-all; past inclusions being ginger, nutmeg, Dijon mustard(s), and, for this trip, the cayenne pepper. The food saver! For any meat not spiced well or at all, for the eggs cooked any which way, for a dash of hot lemon water cleansing, or maybe even for fake on the spot tearing up of the eyes! Okay, the last two were just things I thought of :-)

I shared this story of following along in the class, attempting to learn something new each day, the food saver moniker, the laugh I had as I pondered the opportunity to share this very post's contents as I had hoped to do... at the breakfast table, with my family, learning with each other, that sometimes, a simple taste from home can make you feel as if you've not left it.
Then we shared the tale with the subjects, and our new friend Raj's delectable addition was, (wait for it)
 Pickled Mangoes, made from scratch and brought home from he and wife Sheila's most recent trip to their ancestral home of India. Sometimes, a lesson to be learned is right where you are! I might mention, I also learned in speaking with this most delightful couple, that unlike English, or French, their native language is, for the most part, pronounced phonetically. Interesting, AND handy to know!
So, do you know the capital city of the great big state of Alaska? Comment below!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Couple of Costs

Cruise for 4 to Alaska with an unobstructed, Oceanside window...$3000

Tacky tourist trinkets to take home...$98.70

Cocktails for a Happier Hour or two (or four)...$42

Printed pictures of your vacation waiting at Walgreens on your way home...$11.59

Posted greetings mailed home from ports of call... $2.90

Time not spent cooking, cleaning, driving, performing manual labor or caring for animals, and instead simply enjoying the company of your family ... Priceless


Thursday, September 22, 2016

New School Field Trip

This week, I have the pleasure of vacationing with my family aboard Holland America's Amsterdam on a cruise through Southeastern Alaskan waters. Our destinations so far have included Stephen's Passage and the capitol city of Juneau, where we walked about town and happened upon this incredible spot just waiting for a #CraftWithAnna event to take place.
Ok, so I didn't break out my to-go-stamping kit and teach a class to the strangers out walking past our photo op? Well, no, but you can bet I thought about it! Because, when you see a desk marked "free" beckoning from a hotel parking lot, you take advantage of it, right?!
This is our second voyage with HA over Alaskan waters, and this time I brought along a few items that have certainly made waiting around watching scenery pass by with little ones a whole lot more pleasant. Not just for them, but for me too, I freely admit. We have amongst our generous helping if supplies in tow a set of watercolor pencils, pre-cut sheets of watercolor paper, assorted other papers collected along the way being repurposed for painting-on materials and a spritzer bottle for water.
Experiments of pencil on wet paper, penciled pigment being picked up and applied by brush, and even finger painting may or may not have taken place. Subjects such as waterfront views, tabletop floral still lifes, and even carpet designs have thus far been studied as inspiration for our creativie passions.We are having fun passing the time and capturing a bit of Alaska to take home as well.
I must say, though, as much as I love our little canvases, seeing Rainier being so generous and thoughtful while gifting away her original artworks to our good natured servers has been a gentle reminder that, as much as we cherish the moments that make memories, if we do not share them, they remain only with us. So, thank you, dear reader, for allowing me to share a bit of my mothering, teacher's joy with you in this post...
Now, who's interested in a REAL CraftWithAnna on location amongst Alaska experience?! Leave a comment below and let me know where your "bucket-list" cruise would go, and for bear's sake,
Stay Crafty!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Open Roads

Ventured over the pass last weekend to scout out some possible over winter residents. Our destination: somewhere around Cle Elum. I'd only found out the weekend before that all the hotels in the area were booked, so we knew we'd be camping, but where was to be determined.
Growing up, our family often pulled into a more hospitable campground than Mother Nature usually provides... not at all in terms of scenery, but definitely a campground is preferred when small children are about. Nevertheless we took our chances camping off the state land and were pleasantly satisfied with the conditions, site, and view at our camp.
The rushing roar of the river drowned out any noise and provided a blank backdrop for Rainier's guitar and song singing to fill the air. She strummed that thing over rocks, down to the river's edge, from atop a creosote-soaked bridge... I was impressed! "Sixteen Tons" amongst the boulders walking back from a hike was epic.
Soon enough we'll find out if Moe or Stoney, above will be rooming here for the winter. Their friend Rio is a perfect match for our pony Chippy, though, and regardless it'll be fun having them. High Country Outfitters runs trail rides, group overnights, and girl's camp all summer and leases a portion of their well-trained herd mules and horses out to riders from fall to spring. The owners, Stacy and Brian invited us up to peruse their wares so to speak.
It would have been really hard to choose but I had fallen for Stoney before we left after seeing him online, and Moe and Ray bonded- you can guess how that went. We're lucky to be able to afford this opportunity and I'm looking forward to getting more comfortable than I've ever been, riding and just being around the horses in general. Rainie and I have been riding Chippy a bit but I'm learning to recognize my weaknesses.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Time Hopping

On our visits to the local Key Center branch of the Pierce County Library, I take advantage of the free Wi-Fi to download free overlays from the free app, Photo Grid. Then with a few swipes of the S-pen held within the Note3 I tote I have a ready to scrap pic with built in title, date, patterned papers, etc.
This, combined with another free app called Instagram, are two of my go to photo enhancers. I also use a lovely bokeh effect in KiwiCamera, which really comes in handy for capturing the sparkles of life. Another bonus, discovered whilst the girls and I visited with peers at a beautiful tea party outside last week; when my camera battery died, I was able to use the Kiwi one just fine :-)
After listening to a Paperclipping Roundtable podcast where the host, Noel Hyman's husband Izzy talks about sharing snapchat photos with his daughter. I figured it would be cool to send some to my cousin's daughter's, I've seen them playing with it. I have only sent one picture to my friend from YMCA camp, but I did figure out there are all kinds of things you can do with overlay options in other apps too, so here's an artsy way I expressed my emotional state of unrest coinciding with the Pokémon craze>>>>>>>>>>>
Last month my mom and I drove Up North. Almost to Canada North. Were we scrapbooking in the car on the way up there? Yes we were. It was a long drive and our portraitist wasn't quite ready to invite us in, being engaged in consultation with another client. What did we do, break out the plywood from the back seat "desk" and start scrappin' on the trunk? No, I didn't think of it! But we did do a little warm up photo shoot, and I adore the pictures captured.
There was something I realized when I reviewed them, selecting which one's I'd pre-scrap in this 4x4 format... I can bring a giggle out of my mom, and really seeing her beauty shining at me so clearly... well, it made me smile too.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Photo Bombing at the Red Barn

North, South, East or West,
In your arms is where I like best <3
There surely must be something to be said, or has probably already been said, about what is seen through the eyes of a child being the truth. I didn't plan on being the subject matter at our free CraftWithAnna: Photo Bomb! class held at the Red Barn in Key Center, but I can't say I minded. Especially once Laura forwarded me the amazing shots captured (by one of the latest iPhones, of course). The radiance in these pictures took my breath away, and while I certainly can't take credit for the photos taken, I can take partial credit in the making of some of the subject matter, so, yeah me!
practically flawless
Another saying kept in mind while downloading these treasures was how much like sponges kids are. We've allowed Rainier her own digital camera for much of her life, and seeing the world through her perspective is a unique opportunity to literally walk in her shoes. Having her along while we walked the youth center's perimeter allowed me the chance to direct her more as a teacher than a mom, something we're getting more used to as we work our way through summer towards the approach the September school starting up again season. Our decision to homeschool through Kindergarten is one we're pretty excited about, but there are disadvantages to being taught without peers, too. Our community of fellow homeschoolers hosts regular outings, though, and coupled with classes like this, she gets to interact with a lot of different age groups too. Just like in real life!
This Photo Bomb! class was geared toward the picture taker of now. Using a cell phone, most likely the smartest afforded, the new approach to photography doesn't generally include setting up a shot, or waiting for the perfect moment to take one photo that you hope will turn out. Most often it is, take a picture of me doing this (like, 20 times until you get the right picture I can post later), or, I was here, photo-etically.
I wanted to instill in them the idea of the patience it would have taken to slowly spend 24 pictures, and then drive them to The local photo developer- it was a special place, not located inside a drug store. That, weeks later you would finally see the (doubles) of your good or bad pictures. The idea of storing negative film strips for possible future reprinting is as ludicrous to the average cell -phone photographer as actually printing your pictures is!
We gathered experience shooting action during a pick up game of basket ball. We waited for the attention of the game to focus on an individual's actions. We hunkered down on the ground and got interesting perspective shots- of shoes, of the hoop, I think someone even got one of sweat flying! Well, my students hunkered down, I carried Sunny around and shouted like a director on set. It was terrific fun!
We walked in the shade of the surrounding evergreens. We chased dandelion fluff and honey bees, and found outlier flowers, bursting with ripening vegetables; pure anomalies of creation, and captured their beauty.

hush, little baby

Here you can see how the photographers focused the infinite number of greens into the background to allow bursts of color take off-centered stage. I taught about using a tic tac toe grid to create visually interesting focal points. About using the existence of vibrant color in Pint, Quart, Gallon distribution. About making a connection with the subject and getting to know it's best side, or noticing and working with light as contrast or compliment.

We looked closely at what grew, and as we watched, we grew too. Each viewpoint acknowledged, celebrated, shared. Exclamations over nature's bounty... music to this teacher's ears!
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