Monthly Archives: March 2012

Photography 101- Rule of Thirds

Last week, Aimee’s lesson was on The Rule of Thirds and beginning composition for photography.

Basically, the picture should be divided into thirds both horizontally and vertically, and the subject(s) of the photo should be on (not in between as I previously thought) those lines or at the intersection of two of them.

Hmm! Who knew?

Here are my practice shots.

Unfortunately, I woke up to hoar frost here this morning. Beautiful. Great for pictures. But I’m really ready for green!!

You can see that the first picture had objects on the vertical (left) and horizontal (bottom) lines.

I thought this picture had a couple of horizontal lines covered. This is the view behind my house, by the way.

And I think this picture is a good example of her lesson on how diagonal lines create interest and movement. The tree on the left is a diagonal and the tree line fading off into the distance is also a subtle diagonal line as the tree line is moving away from the camera.

Such cool tricks!! We are going skiing this week and I’m going to practice her spring vacation tips on taking pictures in bright light and holiday pictures.

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eMiLy cArR- NeW aRt LOvE

The other item I may not have mentioned when I was confessing about my spring shopping spree was the Emily Carr print that we found, beautifully matted and framed, and on sale for an astoundingly low price.

I mean astoundingly low.

The frame itself would have cost as much as they were asking.

The matting would have cost as much as they were asking.

And the print itself would have cost as much as they were asking.

I had to ask if it was right.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of it.

Once they confirmed that was, indeed, what they were asking for it, I couldn’t leave it behind.

So my wonderful mom bought it for us.  It is our Christmas present for next year.  We were going to wait until next December to put it up.

But it is so beautiful.

We put it up immediately.

We had a pretty big and bare wall in the upstairs landing.  It was the perfect place.  This is the view of the upstairs landing from the stairs.

I like how it picks up the red and orange in my husband’s and son’s dance bustles that we keep above the doorway.  So not planned…

This is the view from the landing looking down the stairway.

Here is a closer view of the print itself.  It is a painting of hers called “Autumn Woods.”

One more look.

Isn’t it gorgeous?


ALWaYs In STylE- SPriNg ShOppInG SprEe

This past Friday, which marked the first day of spring break for me (yahoo!), I may or may not have gone shopping with my mom.  And really, really celebrated.

And I may or may not have gotten a little carried away…

…it may or may not have involved new snakeskin pumps and cork wedges with gold cloth…

…and new Neon Buddha ‘Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’ pants and a black, drapey cotton dress…

…and plaid shorts and a navy and white striped t-shirt with a boat neck and tie waist…

…ok, ok, and a skirt that can also be worn as a top.

I wish I could say that everything was a steal, but, to be honest, it is all new spring stuff, and none of it was even close to being on sale.

That being said, I do not have even one pair of pumps, and I have been wanting some for, literally, years.  And I’m a teacher.  I should have been wearing pumps with my bun everyday!

And I have been wearing the same 2 pairs of shorts for the last 5 years.  No exaggeration there, either.

And the shirt, shoes, and dresses are all items I will wear to work and at home for, probably, years.  They are good quality and will last, and that’s how I am with my clothes.  I buy pretty classic pieces and wear and wear and wear them.

And I had a really fun day with my mom.  She found some things too, and the town we went to was a 2 hour drive (our town has a serious lack of options for shopping) so we had a nice visit, fun shopping, a yummy lunch, and an all around good day.  And that’s kinda priceless.

So there.

Here’s a shot of items that are pretty close to what I ended up with.

Have a great week, everyone!


Spring Mantel

Technically, it is spring tomorrow.

This is what it still looks like in our backyard.

The bigger the snow jump…

…the more air you get.

So, while the weather outside is not terribly spring-like, I still found some lovely inspiration, found here, and came up with this for the spring mantel.

A few willow branches, a few antlers, some moss, ferns, and a couple of chicks.  Don’t forget the tulips.

The moss stones, bucket, and Spanish moss in the vase were dollar store finds.

I had the chicks from last year’s Easter wreath.

And I couldn’t help but buy myself some tulips.

The splash of color brightens everything up.

But the overall effect is still neutral- which is my favorite.

I hope you like my spring mantel!

I can’t wait to see what everyone else has done for spring.

I am linking up on these fine blogs.


(ALwaYs iN) sTyLe- dResS

A dress is always a great and easy option to wear to work.  Professional and polished.

One piece, a few accessories, and you are good to go.

Pair with a cardigan or jacket for work and then with bare arms for even evening.  I love these options for spring.  The black lets the colors pop.

Have a great week, everyone.


Spring Mantel Inspiration

I love the anticipation of waiting for spring to arrive.

In Alberta, after a long, hard winter, we need to see some green, growing things!

I was excited the other day when I saw that there was another series of blog parties celebrating the arrival of spring.

Even though it won’t actually arrive here for another month or so at least (usually the beginning of May is when the trees leaf out), we can start to make the insides of our homes start to look like spring.

Here are some inspiring spring mantels.

I love the contrast of the green with the white with the dark chalkboard and wood.

This one is similar in feel, but with a mirror instead of a chalkboard and the addition of a ladder and some clocks.
I love that this one is a little wilder looking.  Branchy.  And we have a lot of branches around here.  So very do-able.
But some colour might be nice.  Not might be.  Would be.  Absolutely.
Branchy and colourful both.
Have you started thinking about spring for your home?
I am going to start working on the spring mantel soon, but first I’m going to go outside and take pictures of my son snowboarding down the backyard hill onto and over the jump he built with the snow we still have.
Literally.
This is not a metaphor.

(Always In) Style- Spring 2012 Shirt

The shirt of the season seems to be a loose fitting, light button down in with graphic designs or prints and colour-blocking.

Great with shorts or a skirt and tights. A nice transition between winter and spring too!


Bathroom Mirror

Our house has three bathrooms.  When we moved in, only one of them had a mirror.  For about a year, I’m embarrassed to admit.  That would be our son’s bathroom.

But eventually, the half bathroom on the main floor got a mirror.  A nice round Ikea mirror.  Lovely.

But it was missing something.

It was missing rope and a rusty something or other to look like it was holding the rope up.

So this is what we did.

And this is what inspired us.

Frame Out A Mirror With Rope

To get this project done, we headed to one of the local new and used shops and found a great, rusty old hook with a bit of chain on it.  When we asked the lovely gentleman who owned the shop how much, he looked at us like we were a little strange and said that if it could be any use to us, we were welcome to take it.

So we bought a couple of giant frames desperately in need of some white paint so that we were buying something.  Here is the hook and chain.

Shaun used a curtain hanger to suspend it from the wall.

Then we went to the hardware store and bought some rope.  They weren’t giving anything away there…

Here is what is looks like after it was all put together.

I love it.

And I can’t wait until my bathroom actually has a mirror, too.

(seriously, I have to put my make-up on in the closet and Shaun has to shave in our son’s bathroom… any ideas on how to make your own medicine cabinet??)


Photography 101- White Balance

I’m a little bit behind on my photography posts, but I have been working on it!

Last week, Aimee posted a lesson on white balance and it was something I really needed.

Basically, you can set your white balance manually, but to begin with, it is probably best just to get used to the camera settings and options for white balance to see what they can do first.

I used my camera in manual mode for these, as I’m getting quite used to it now.  I placed my props in a well lit corner of my living room (although it was cloudy) and started shooting, going through each of the options my camera has for white balance and then metering until I was balanced.

The auto worked quite well.

The setting for cloudy made it a bit too yellow and flash-y looking.

As did the flash setting.

The incandescent setting adds blue to make up for the yellow in incandescent lighting.  Since there wasn’t any, it turned quite blue!

Again, the shade setting added a bit of a flash looking yellow.

The setting for sunlight worked.  Which makes sense since that was what I was using- a naturally well-lit area.

It is so interesting to see and figure out what the camera will do for you in different types of lighting conditions.  I am going to keep practicing using my white balance options in different lighting conditions (use the incandescent in that type of light and see if the picture turns out, etc.).

Happy snapping!


(Always In) Style- Coral Jeans Inspiration

Brightly coloured jeans is proving to be a huge trend for spring 2012.

I am so glad I got my coral pair at Winners for 20 dollars.  I have seen ads for them for, well, considerably higher.

Here is an inspiration shot on how to wear coloured jeans.  I like them with both neutrals and another strong colour for balance.

Coral and turquoise, anyone?

Have a stylish week, everyone!


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