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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ginger's Birthday Present: Elmwood Gardens

So if you ask Ginger what she wants as a gift, her favorite thing is vacations.  You can forget jewelry, she loves and cherishes her wedding rings and college ring, but give her a trip and she is a very happy wife!  So for Ginger's birthday we went to a bed and breakfast north of Palestine called Elmwood Gardens.  Known famously for their wedding venues, you can, if you time it right, stay in the Honeymoon Suite.  It was heavenly.  As a photographer you knew I'd take pictures!  Here is a picture of the cabin and a very enthusiastic Ginger:

The grounds were beautiful:

And there were also lots of curious animals around, including some very beautiful horses:

And a beautiful cat called, of all things, peanut butter:

It took Ginger and I a few minutes to get this shot of peanut butter.  I'm such a cat person!  Peanut butter was "playing" with a lizard.  And then there was Joey, who was born without a tail:

Of course the inside was absolutely divine.  Ginger fell in love with the "purple" tub.  It is one of the reason's why we wanted to come to Elmwood Gardens.  Of course at night, with the lights off except for a torch light I have for my photography, the ambience with the tub is heavenly!  We even went and got bubble bath specifically for Ginger to have a bubble bath!

Of course there was a fireplace in the main room:

And obviously I had to take a few artsy, macro shots:

Of course the star of the vacation was obviously my beautiful wife, who had gotten her hair done the day before, isn't it beautiful! (Heck lets be honest, she IS beautiful!):

We had such a fabulous time there and DeeDee, the owner was such a gracious and wonderful host.  We had the grounds and cabin all to ourselves and it was a great time to relax and just be with each other.  The amazing part was, once we got there neither one of us picked up our phone, computer, etc.  It wasn't till we left that we picked up our electronic devices.  That's how absolutely amazing this place is. 

So today I was able to play with Photoshop and worked on some creative projects:

Yep, the cubes have lots of the pictures from above!  I had such fun doing these!

So the birthday continues (Tanna, I gave Ginger a HUGE hug for you!)!  Date night is about is officially start and we are just so relaxed and ready for the holiday's now (And we have about three weeks and we are going to ANOTHER bed and breakfast in Jefferson for our anniversary!).   God is good, we are so blessed to have each other, how wonderful God is to have put us together!


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Art and Photographs with Creative Lighting

Yes, I know, it has only been a week and I'm blogging already!  There are going to be some surprised people!  Lots going on, at least on the artistic photographic front.  I've blogged before about the Gothic House that my Dad built for me.  It holds an honored position on top of our mantle.  One of the things I've always wanted to do is decorate it for the holiday season, putting outside lights on the house.  I'd done some research, both at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and even on line and hadn't found anything quite what I was looking for.  Talking with my Dad last week, I got some ideas.  Then on my weekly trip to Walmart yesterday I found it.  They are tiny LED lights connected by small gauge wire that are for wreaths and are battery operated.  I was stoked.  But I had one more problem to overcome, how to mount them.  And then the light bulb moment, mounting putty.  Used for light weight mounting, it was perfect and here is the result:

You will notice that the inside of the house is lit.  Inside is a small Christmas tree with LED lights around it (white and the extra lights from the outside lights).  Here is a peek:

Can't tell you how happy I was when it was all done!  It was interesting how to get 6 foot of wire hidden or at least make it look like it was suppose to be there!  I guess I could have cut the wires and soldered them smaller, but I made it work with minimal work!  It is a work in progress!

On the way home from work one day last week I looked up and saw the moon.  I love full moons, but I love crescent moons as well.  Since leaves are still on the trees and the wind was up, the long exposure, creative shots were not going to happen, but closeups would work.  I got home, kissed my lovely wife and went for my tripod and after a few shots came up with:

Yes, I continue to have a fascination with the moon. 

We also had some rain this week.  I love taking pictures of water drops, and this one coming off a pine needle was the perfect subject for my Macro lens:

I've taken a few pictures of birds and I found this "bird couple" of Blue Jays, feeding.  I was actually following just one and the other came in the picture for a small window of opportunity:

And finally.  For all you artists out there who get a certain idea in your head, this little story and couple of pictures is for you.  I love blue lights.  My studio has an overhead blue light, but for the holidays I create a "blue room" or "winter room".  It is not done yet, but I originally put up some regular blue lights.  But it wasn't quite right.  The blue was not quite what I was looking for and it wasn't as vibrant as I'd of liked.  When I was at Target (looking for the Christmas tree for the gothic house above) I found these LED blue lights that were the blue I was looking for.  Of course, they are more expensive than regular lights, but in the name of art, I splurged.  Well, Ginger liked the old blue lights.  And then she had an idea, put some in the bathroom.  Always one to try something new, I hung some up in there and Ginger LOVES it!  So we both are happy with our rooms.  I'll let you decide which "blue" you like:

Yes, we like our lights.  I have some more ideas for my blue room but that will happen when we finally decorate for Christmas! (my studio is a little cluttered, but I'll have everything in it's place by the time decoration day comes!)

Ginger's birthday is coming up and we are going to celebrate it by going to a Bed and Breakfast this week!  We are stoked!  We both get a short work week and then get a long weekend!   I'm so thankful for my lovely wife that God provided for me!  I hope you enjoy the pictures from this quirky artist and his lovely wife!


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Homeade Cookies, Photo Projects, and Laughing Often!

Oh my goodness I cannot believe how much time has passed since my last blog.  When I talked with my Dad this afternoon and he told me it'd been almost a couple of months, I was stunned.  Not that it has been far from my mind.  I keep seeing photography projects I want to do and post on the blog, and I've been practicing with my flashgun and color gels with some surprising results!  I love to learn!  So you can thank my Dad (with Mom's support!) for the little nudge to write the blog, I love my parents dearly!

So the short answer is Ginger and I are doing extremely well!  We had a biopsy done of the lump in Ginger's breast and it came back benign.   On another note, Ginger, who  has always loved baking,  has been baking me cookies, just about every week!  I love chocolate chip and I really love the peanut butter chocolate cookies she makes:

These cookies are delicious and they are making my pooch just a little bit bigger!

I've been busy with fall cleaning!  I got the Halloween decorations all put up and in the attic and I added on to some shelves I'd built so that we could have a place for our shoes and winter clothes!  I even organized all my tools!  I've been getting all my props together for my photographic projects so I can begin getting creative again.  Not that my camera isn't far from me, I'm always finding something to photograph or thinking of a project to do!  I get a magazine called Digital Photo, which is made in England, and it has become one of two mags I get (the other is Photoplus for Canon) that gives me alot of ideas.  It has become my favorite magazine because it shows me not only about photography but about Photoshop Elements as well.  They have a Nikon slant when reviewing equipment, so I take that with a grain of salt, but that is why I get Photoplus!

So what kind of projects, well here are a few samples of me playing.  I call them, Halloween on our Mind:

Just a little Photoshop magic with Layers.  They aren't perfect, but it was a fun afternoon taking pics of Ginger, her taking mine, and playing with the computer!

We had a Halloween Party at work and I was in charge of taking pictures of the kids for our costume contest.  So before I was able to have a little fun with my camera and took this:

Not to leave out the moon,  I took this picture a couple of days ago of a crescent moon:

Not the best I've taken, but I was on my way to work (yes, on my way to work!) saw this moon and just had to snap a few pics off!  I can't help it, I'm fascinated with the moon!

And yesterday afternoon Ginger and I went to a beautiful wedding.  I took lots of pictures and even got what I call a money shot, the one where the groom kisses the bride, but I'll let her see it first before I post it!  But here is one of my favs without people in it!

So something to give you a little laugh about.  So on the weekends I've taken to eating Lucky Charms on Sunday Morning, pulling out my newly bought Looney Tunes Spotlight Collection Volume 1 and watching a little Bugs Bunny.  Want the secret to a simple happy life?  Laugh alot.  In fact, above my computer here, with pictures of Ginger and I's wedding it says:  Live Simply, Laugh Often, Love Much.  Ginger and I's mantra.