Favorite Things

Picasa is My Friend

Monday, December 21st, 2009

OK peeps, I think it’s time I spill the beans on how I take and manipulate my photos.  Several of you have sent me emails asking me about the camera and the software I use on this site.  I’m here to share.  Sharing is what I do.  I love to share, especially with those of you just starting out.  Ha, that’s funny.  “Just starting out.”  That’s me, like, nine months ago.  Strange, surreal, and completely true. 

But first, before I share, I have a few confessions to make. 

First confession:  Believe me when I tell you I am a complete amateur when it comes to photography.  (Some of you are saying, “Um, yes, we know that.”)  In fact, if you said the word “aperture” to me a few months ago, I’d have looked at you cross-eyed. 

Second confession:  I have a really killer camera that does half the work for me.  My weapon of choice is a Nikon D60 and it totally rocks.  Mr. CG bought it for me two years ago when I complained about my flimsy digital never taking pictures when I wanted it to.  You know that 3/4 second delay that misses the moment ?  That fleeting precious moment when your kid is doing the cutest thing ever ?  Then your camera never captures it ?  Hated that.  I complained constantly.  Tears welled.  I might have thrown my old camera a few times.  Then hubby bought me my Nikon. 

Yes, they’re expensive, but oh my goodness gracious darling, are they ever so worth it.  Mine has paid for itself tenfold with the quality of pictures it has given me.

nikon d60 

For example, take this most recent picture of chocolate covered biscotti from yesterday.  My friends, I simply set the camera to “no flash” and shot this beauty.  The camera did 80% of the work. 

biscotti up close

Third confession:  I’ve learned to never ever ever use a flash.  The flash is not your friend when taking up close and personal shots of your latest craft, project, recipe, or kid.  Turn it off, that’s all I can say.  Turn.Off.The.Flash.  Light is your friend.  The flash is not. 

Fourth confession:  I do not use Photoshop for my everyday blog editing.  I don’t have the patience, time, or in depth knowledge of Photoshop to manipulate every single photo.  Yes, I’m learning the program slowly, but I never turn to Photoshop for my everyday blog photos. 

I use Picasa.  Picasa is free.

Picasa is my friend ! 

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Christmas Cookies for Chocolate Lovers

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

Whenever we’re invited to Christmas parties, I try to bring something sweet, homemade, and chocolate.  On Christmas day, I also prefer to serve a medley of Christmas cookies with coffee, instead of one single dessert after the big feast.  I spent this past weekend frolicking with my family, attending holiday parties, and making four of my absolute favorite cookies to give and share.  Here are two of those cookies I make that are sure to please any chocolate lover on your list !

Chocolate Dipped Handmade Biscotti

chocolate dipped biscotti

and Chocolate Wafers with Peppermint Buttercream Filling

chocolate wafers on plate

 

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Eye Candy at the Antique Fairs

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

When I go to an antique fair, I sometimes go incognito, then I photograph all of the things I love, or the things that inspire me. 

What I truly love about outdoor antique fairs is the exposure to other people’s conversations.  I’m not eavesdropping on purpose.  But one can’t help overhearing the most interesting observations with so many persons milling about inspecting, inquiring, and always commentating.  I find it fascinating.  I find people fascinating, with all of their different tastes. 

I have perused several of the the larger local antique fairs in the past month, and I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve found inspirational.  Some can be recreated right at home. 

Take a tour with me. 

I spotted this mirrored coat rack made from architectural salvage.  It reminds me of the coat rack I made with an old headboard.  You can see that project right here

salvage coat rack

Look at these beautiful conch shells that someone has carefully embellished with pearl string.  They’ve been mounted on secondary clam shells and they make quite a pair.  They were very large shells, about 8 inches tall, and so very pretty up close. 

beaded shells on stands

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