Saturday, February 28, 2009

Oh My God its over and I am 100

Okay, this time of year for me is so gut wrenching. I mean Tax time. I hate it. It always seems we have to pay, no matter what. For the 24 years I have been married, we have always used an accountant. In 24 years, I have spent hours getting all the my data together for the accountant. I would have it all put into a spreadsheet, organized and itemized. It would be delivered with an electronic copy of my quicken file, ready in the event the accountant needed something. For that I had to pay hundreds of dollars for the news that I owe thousands. THOUSANDS!! It is so unfair to me. I am taxed at 45% and still have to pay. Pay money I would never have. Vicious cycle.

So this year I said no more, I am doing turbo tax. I have done turbo tax for my kids for the past four years. Its very easy, leading you through the entire process. So today, I gathered all my information, sat in front of my computer and started the process. At the top of the program, it lists what your refund is and as you go through add the questions, this number changes. So I tried to avoid looking at that number. I entered Richards information and w2, my new business information and P&L. Then the moment of Truth. Up to this point, we were getting a pretty good refund. So with a knot in my belly, I entered my W2. I closed my eyes and hit enter.....

I slowly opened my eyes and looked up at the two little boxes!! In dismay I saw a refund! A REFUND! Can you believe it, I am still walking on air. But deep down, I feel the anger coming through. I thought last year my accountant made a mistake. He didn't spend enough time on my file and mistakes were made. I had to file an amended return for some mistakes he had made. I am really questioning the whole 2007 return right now. But I gotta move on.

What really excites me today is that this is my 100th post! I can't believe I stayed with this whole blog thing, and I am really happy about how it makes me feel. Very cathartic. I would give something free away, but think my audience is still in the infancy stage and anything I could give away, I already do to my readers. So I hope that when I write my 200th post, I will have a bigger audience.

So if you stumble by my 100th post and want to give a shout out, I would love to read comments from all my readers. Have a great weekend.

PS, House of 3 is having a housewarming. I downloaded my new blog header and background. They have many you can purchase. Check them out.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday Layout

Well back from Fontana early this am and I had a couple of minutes to spare today. I spent a couple of hours with my pal Nancy today in my happy place. Here are a couple of layouts I whipped up. Just to show you, you do not need a lot of fuss and muss. Just do some creative croppin and you are good to go. I took all the pictures featured here and am so glad I spent the money of Karen Russel's photography class. Worth every penny!

Here is some more racing pictures!

Here is little Charity

Here is little Felicity

I hope everyone has a happy monday!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hi from Fontana

Hi from Fontana, Ca. Nascar weekend Whoo Hooo. Well its been a very informative weekend. People watching was so interesting. All kinds of people here and I mean all kinds. Only at a nascar race can you get a sample of playboy and Skoal in the same location!

Richard had a good time and I liked all the sites. I of course have a my driver, Kasey Kahne. Why cause he is such a cutie patoote.!

Richard loves junior. Both our drivers did fair that well this weekend, but we had fun and I am sure this will not be our last Nascar race. However it will be the first Sunday that I will be wishing to get back to work, I need some rational insanity!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The things we do for love

Okay, I have been a bad blogger this week, but I have been so swamped at work without a minute of piece and quiet. I thought I was going to have some rest this weekend, But its not on the menu at the Welch House.

Everyone that knows me, knows my husband has two hobbies. Hunting and Nascar. I fully support his hobbies cause he is busy doing them and not bugging me and I get to scrap or take pictures or what ever I want to do cause he is busy. I especially like Nascar cause there are always three races a weekend and the season goes from February to November. Yippee. However..... He came home with free tickets to Sunday's race in Fontana. Now he has never actually been to a race, only on TV. So he said wanna go? Well what could I say, he loves it, he lets me do whatever I want whenever I want so I said sure. I get home and guess what: Honey I thing we should go Saturday too and see both races on Saturday and get Fan Zone tickets. It will be fun! Fun I think.....
Dale Earnhardt Jr is his FAVORITE driver. So I am going to turn a negative into a positive and take my new camera and work on freezing motion. I figure cars going around a track at 200 mph should be the perfect target. So I plan on taking a bazillion shots this weekend and who knows maybe I can meet Kasey Kahne in person he is such a little hottie! I will report back on Monday, yes we are staying till early Monday morning so I can drive back in a rush to go to work. Party on!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Sunday

Well I worked most of the day on my checkbook, getting my accounts in order to do taxes., Ugh. I did work on a couple of layouts for a new client plus I designed this clipping mask for a freebie for my hybrid class this Thursday. I really need to be working on next months hybrid layout for class, but there is always tomorrow. Happy Sunday

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Practice Practice Practice

Okay, I just have to practice more with my new camera and lens. I asked my pal Nancy if I could use the twins as my subjects for my camera lesson this weekend and so I packed up and headed out. Love those two little cuties, but Charity was not happy much today and felicity was my pal, go figure. But here are a few of my favorites shot with my new fixed 50 mm 1.4 lens. Plus these photos are unaltered. I can't really learn if I alter everything I shoot.

I then was suppose to shoot two fixed subjects. So I grabbed two vases of flower, I had two cause my son Garrett bought me flowers for valentines day. Can you believe that. First time ever. Anyway, my little chipper jumped into this shot to smell the flowers. I had the aperture open as wide as it could go with focus on the foreground flowers, thus the blur in the background. Well I will keep practicing, but I think its all starting to click a little bit more

Happy Valentines Day

Friday, February 13, 2009

It came today!

My new camera came today. I have changed from Nikon to Canon as I really wanted a 50 mm 1.4 lens that was just impossible to obtain a week ago. Of course just my luck, nikon release some more of them two days ago after I called every camera store in america, oh well.

Anyway, I ran home put the camera together and tried to find a cooperative subject. Of course, my little bitty kitty was eating. He is so funny, he likes to eat out of the can. With his paw.

So with a lens with an open aperture, you have a smaller focus filed, which then blurs the background and around your subject. It also changes the depth of the field. While this is my first attempt, I thought I did get a little of what I was trying to do. So will be working with it more this weekend, but here are some of my favorites from tonight.

And Lets not forget Daddy's Kitty!

Now off to read my new manuel.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bitty Kitty has been busy

Another busy day, got home and had Richie's yummy Mac & Cheese for dinner and looked up and saw this:

Bitty kitty has been busy today. He loves loves his little bouncing mouse. Obviously he bounced it so hard it sprung on top of Daddy's dear. What a funny sight. Had to take the pic with my point and shoot thou, cause me new camera is coming tomorrow with my new lens yippee. So I could not get a great shot of chipper playing, so you will have to use your imagination.

Happy Hump Day.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday Blues

Why does Monday come so fast and last so long. I hate Monday. It's always crazy with too many phone calls and no time the think. So with the rain and extreme craziness of my day, I feel a little blue.

So I had a quick minute before my dinner meeting, fired up my ol laptop and looked at a picture I took with my point and shoot (don't I sound professional) last night at dinner with my son Garrett and his girlfriend Heather. The lighting is not off, that's the flames (fire) from the little cook doing some Teppan.

Garrett has been dating Heather for five or six months now and that is a record for him. Heather is just a little cutie and so sweet, but most of all she gets him. THANK GOD!. I was getting worried no one would get my Duder. She knows he Loves I mean LOVES food and needs food. She also knows he needs his space. I had such a great time and can't wait to do it again.

Well off to my dinner meeting, hopefully I will get to play with my camera tomorrow since today's lesson was aperture.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Happy Sunday

Well I am having a pretty productive weekend. Woke up early to get in touch with one more camera store that might have the lens I want, but alas, after getting through all their double talk, they don't have, said they can get it in two weeks, which Nikon themselves do not know when they will send out more, I or my husband decided to upgrade my camera. I switched to Canon, while I would have like to get the 40 or 50D, I decided to get the rebel xsi. It is equivalent to my D60, but I was able to get my lens that I wanted without problems, have so many more options on lens. I like my Nikon D60. Its great and would not have upgraded if I did not want the fixed 50 mm lens now. I need it while I am still in my camera class so I can get as much out of it as possible. I tried to rent to lens, but was not available, so will have my new camera and lens in couple of days and Plan to sell my current camera to buy another lens.

Today I did do my lesson on shutter speeds. Slower shutter speed, gives you the feel of motion and faster shutter speed, freezes motion.
This picture is a medium shutter speed. It has less blur, but you can still see the motion like the ears flapping back and tail. I like this picture.It was taken on Shutter priority mode, with shutter speed of 1/60 and ISO of 800.

This one also has medium shutter speed, I was taken on shutter priority mode, 1/250 with 800 ISO. Chipper or bitty kitty as he is called, is playing with a dangle toy. He is clear and his coloring pretty, but his paws and toy blurry, showing motion.

What I did learn is a faster shutter speed, lets in less light, So on the next example, if you look closely, his motion is frozen as I shot it at a shutter speed of 1000, but dark because of the faster shutter speed.
However, I can fix it some in Adobe Lightroom, but that defeats the purpose of taking a camera course now doesn't it!

On a last note, my new blog background and header was designed using a freebie from Designer Nicole Young. You can find her stuff here.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A long way to go

Well I spent my day looking at different camera lens and different cameras. I really want a 50 mm 1.4 AF-s lens but they are not to be found anywhere for my Nikon and may not be. So I may be upgrading to a new camera as my sweetie of a hubby wants to buy me one Awh!! But I have one last source for the lens and will know tomorrow. This weekends assignment has to do with shutter speed. I attempted today and failed, not thinking about my aperture or ISO. So will try again tomorrow when its not raining. I did get this shot of my little Chole (pronounced coal). I never get her to stay still, but Richie helped me, plus she was waiting to fetch a duck decoy which helps. More tomorrow

Friday, February 6, 2009

My camera lesson today

It's been a very very busy day today. Fridays are always crazy. I rushed home and finally got to open today's camera lesson. Today was about shutter speed. While reading the lesson, with an ear to Richard and an eye through my lens, I took this shot!

Isn't my little Zoey Lou so cute! I have never ever gotten a cute, non blurry shot of this little girl. I am really excited and am planning a trip to Henley's for more education and maybe something new!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Scan and Stitch

Well with my goal of trying to get published this year in the back of my mine, I needed to learn how to scan and stitch my layouts together so I can submit online. I am hoping to get a new scanner in the next couple of months that will scan 11.7 inches that is in my price range. Anything bigger is TOO MUCH money. Anyway I did a tutorial from Jessica Sprague that showed you how to do it. While photoshop has an action that will do it for you manually, it never matches up to my liking. So here is my first pass at it.

This is a little layout I did for my pal Nancy. Its of course the twins feet when they were tiny. Inside the pic, is their stamped foot. I love the layout and want to submit it as I was my take on one I saw in Creating Keepsakes. However I want to scan it again and see if I can get the colors better.

Well enough CS4 for now, off to do my camera lesson for today.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Reading my manual, Wanna Play?

Well today's lesson in my Karen Russell photography really got me thinking. About my camera that is. We are starting to learn all the buttons and because of that I must read my camera manual tonight. Had super busy day at work so no time to play and read today. One short note is the new House of 3 website combines my favorite digital designer Rhonna Farrer ( who commented again on my blog today, I am soooo excited!), Heidi Swapp and Janet Hopkins. There is a blinkie on my side panel that will take you right to their online store. If you read Rhonna's Blog today she shows off a BEAUTIFUL valentine book. Its a printable, hybrid project. I would really love to do it, wonder if any of my gal pals would like to do it to, maybe this weekend sometime? Anyway check it out!!!

Now back to my manual. I hope to impress you with a talented technical photo soon!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

This weekend camera assignment

Okay my camera or should I say photography class is starting the third week. We has three assignments this past weekend, with one being viewpoint. We were suppose to pick a willing subject that would sit in the middle of the room and i was to walk around the subject and take pics from different viewpoints. Well I sat there at 6 pm Sunday and said to myself who am I going to get to do this? I turned my head and saw Roaree sleeping in his little bed on the counter. I said that's who. I picked up my camera and picked up his bed and sat it in the middle of the room taking shots from every angle and level. So I did and Roaree kinda just layed there. As I was lying on the floor level with him, bitty kitty walked up and this is the shot I got. I really really love this shot. While it technically sucks, emotionally it tells my story.

This photo was critiqued by Karen Russell and she agrees that the level and tight crop makes this a great picture. We haven't learned about shutter speed and white balance yet, which she said was my issue of the fuzziness and color, but we will. What I do know is a lens really makes a difference and I am using a rented Tameron, wide angle 17-55 lens. I really wanted to get a fixed lens but for my camera body, its on back order for an unknown amount of time. So I am going to do some research and figure out what to do in the next week as I want to finish this class with a lens that is a wide angle lens. A wide angle lens with a wider aperture will allow me to shoot in low light situations, like in the house of my animals. It blurs the background a bit, which is the style I just LOVE. So I will keep ya updated. I am going to head to Henley's this weekend and check out some different lens. Always like to support local shops. Happy Monday!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowel CS4

While it is super bowl for most most of America. Its super bowl training for CS4 for me. While I am trying to work on my taxes (ugh), I have been busy teaching myself CS4. And now back to my photography class lesson for this weekend, but before I go, here is a little layout I did which I played with blending modes and text paths as well as build a custom action that saves my layout for posting, printing and in my folder of layouts in one click!! Happy Sunday