Mar 31, 2011

a little collection of pretty

Hello there, how are you this Thursday?

I made flowers all day today. Yellow ones, fuchsia ones, teal and green floral ones.. pretty layered fabric flowers, and while I was tidying up the craft room I spied one of my favorite mini's up on the shelf. A little vintage book filled with magazine clippings of pretty things and lovely color combinations. I made this book 2summers ago I thought it was about time that I posted some of the pages. It's my go-to book for color inspiration!

I need to make a file folder for all of the extra clippings I've collected. I think saving things that you find inspiring is always a great idea for when you need a little boost of creativity!!

Mar 28, 2011

a little bit of this & a little bit of that

a glorious end to the weekend.

Alaina was on Spring Break this past week and me, well I was still in recovery mode. Recovery is such a pain, no lifting anything over 5 pounds, so that takes care of kids, little dogs, groceries... no pushing grocery carts, no exercising, and no vacuuming. I miss picking up Chase, when he sees me in the morning he'll run towards me and I'll catch him, lift him into the air and then he giggles and hugs me tight. It's so sweet and I miss my morning hug. I miss vacuuming too. I'm one of those weirdos who will vacuum a couple times a day because I like seeing the vacuum lines in the carpet. :) 5 more weeks, got to make it until then!

I've planned out my menu for the week. Has anyone out there been planning a weekly menu? Have you ran into any bumps in planning? With me, there is at least one day a week that I get stuck and cannot think of anything to make. nothing. It's usually the last day of the week and I just run out of momentum. I'm kind of thinking that maybe I should try a new recipe on the last day of each week? That might work!! So, here it is, Monday's Menu: (and it's actually being posted on a Monday this week - sometimes I surprise myself too!!)

Organic Tomato Soup
Grilled Crab & Cheese on Wheat Sourdough (think grilled cheese, except imitation crab and jack cheese. it's a favorite of mine whenever I visit Florence Oregon and this little coastal cafe for soup and sandwiches.)

Mandarin Chicken Rice bowls with peas, green onions, water chestnuts and cashews
Roasted Zucchini

Fish Taco's
3 Bean Salad
Honeydew melon

Garlic Chicken with Farfalle Pasta
Caesar Salad

Cobb Salad
Garlic Naan Bread
Peach, Nectarine Blueberry with mint salad

Grilled Petite Steaks
Caprese Salad
Honeydew melon
french bread

I spent most of the weekend working and taking breaks to play outside. It's so nice here. Warm and sunny.. I suppose that is the draw to Arizona, our weather. It's perfect picnic weather! I need to put that on the to-do list again soon because you can never have to many Spring picnics!! and I'm working on something big at the moment, I'll leave you with a sneak-peek tonight! :))

I'm calling it an semi-early night. I stayed up way too late last night watching the NatGeo channel. There was a new show-special on Egypt and I couldn't turn the tv off. Darn that channel, it gets me every time! good-night all ~

Mar 23, 2011

some girly stuff

I'm slowly getting back to a semi-normal schedule. That first week after surgery is always a doozy for me. If I could, I would spend every moment in bed sleeping away the days until I felt better again.... but alas, I cannot. A family, pets, and a house all depend on my speedy return to normalcy. :) (It's amazing how much work piles up if you don't stay on-top of it all day - every day!!)

I haven't really taken any new photos this past week, for obvious reasons, and there isn't really a spectacular menu planned for the week... So, instead I thought I'd share a couple of pretty scrap-projects! After all - paper does seem to take up a considerable part of my everyday!

First, there is a brand new project tutorial for the Crate Paper Blog. Emma's Shoppe is, in my opinion, one of the best-ever girls scrapbook collections. They are so many cute pieces of chipboard to use, the journaling cards are beautiful and the papers are oh-so lovely! If you're drawn to girly and vintage inspired scrapbook products, this whole collection is very much for you!

A simple layout I created for CHA. I don't think I posted it yet.. must have slipped my mind! Alaina received this big flowery headband as a Christmas present and wanted her photo taken. I knew I had to scrap some of those photos!

and two projects from last year for entreARTistes magazine. If you're able to get your creative hands on this magazine you won't be disappointed! Even if you don't speak/read French, the photos alone will be worth it!

I'm off to work a bit on a couple of new Spring inspired projects. Paper, fabric, paints and my sewing machine should be a splendid Wednesday afternoon!

Mar 15, 2011

menu time

I don't know why today continues to feel like a Monday. I should have posted this yesterday but Tuesday is the new Monday in my book. :)

Grilled Chicken
Greek Pasta salad
fresh melons

mini Grilled Pizzas

7 Layer Burritos
Spanish Rice
Honey Dew melon and blueberries

bbq pulled Pork sandwiches (I hate this type of pork, but since I can't eat anything that day, I figured it would be perfect to make for everyone else. :))

Garden Lasagna
Italian Salad
garlic bread

Chicken Casserole
fresh fruit salad


This week is all about ease and planning ahead. I have another surgery scheduled for Friday morning.... I know it probably sounds familiar right? At least for me anyway. I'm so over it!! I've joked with my Dr. that because this is the 3rd surgery in 10 months I've now reached my limit. So no more.

For that reason, I've put a couple of casseroles and one crock-pot meal on the menu this week. It takes me a few days to bounce back from any surgery I've ever had, so I figured I'd help Peter out and try to make enough so that he has left-overs. I plan on measuring and chopping everything prior to Friday and that way Peter can put together dinner for him and the kids. I think a good-classic casserole is Lasagna. It's such an easy dish to make and yet no one makes it the same way. Have you noticed that? Since there's not a recipe really here's a list of what's in mine:

Tara's (almost) Garden Lasagna

Italian Sausage
diced eggplant
diced zucchini
diced onions
frozen chopped spinach
chopped mushrooms
1 jar of garlic and onion spaghetti sauce
shredded mozzarella
oven ready lasagna (noodles)

If I had company, I would make my own sauce and use 2 types of meat, but Peter is pretty easy to please so I can keep it simple. I sauteed all of my vegetables together and then cook the meat separately. Once everything is cooked through, I mix the meat, vegetables and spaghetti sauce together and then start the layering process with noodles, cheese and the meat/veggie mixture. I love lasagna and it keeps well as a left over for the net day too!!

Want to share what you include in your lasagna recipe?

vintage photo talk

I get this question alot. "How do you make the black frames on your photos?" and then last week
pakosta said...
love that black look around the pix! are those from the iphone>!? if so, what app?! LOVE THEM!


That comment totally made me smile because that would mean that I'd have to have an iphone or some other type of photo taking/editing phone which I don't have. I still haven't upgraded to text-messaging. I know, I'm living in the dark ages of the new cell phone technology. I've just made peace with consistently being behind the times when it comes to being techno-trendy. Oh well.

But, that also means that I'm a fan of doing things the old fashion way. No cell phone apps or photo editing for this girl. It's vintage all the way. I love using an old camera to create a vintage feel for my photos. Any of my photos that have the black frame around them are called "Through the View Finder" photos or ttv for short.

I'm using the viewfinder of a vintage Anscoflex or a Duraflex camera and my digital camera to create those photos. You can start with any vintage camera that has a large view finder. When I first started I didn't want to take the time to create a light box, but after a few photos I soon realized that it's a pretty crucial part of ttv photos. Building a light box for the top of the viewfinder will help keep the light-glare off of the view finder lens.

check out this post on contraptions or lightboxes. I would love someone to take a photo of me actually using both cameras. It's a little awkward at first but with some practice it really ends up being easy to control both cameras by hand, at once. Although I've never used a tripod so that may be an easier option as well!

Once you've built a light box, you're all set to start taking photos.

**disclaimer time**
With ttv photos you have to accept a few things.
1. Your photos will not be clean and crisp. The lighter the background the dirtier your photos will appear because of the collected dust in the lens of the vintage camera.
2. You will look absolutely ridiculous taking these photos. Picture this: you're holding the vintage camera with a tall black box attached to the top (your light box) and you'll have your digital camera lens pointed into the light box focusing on the view finder lens.
3. Because of reason #2, you'll have alot of people asking you what you're doing... and you'll have to explain and re-explain yourself countless times.

**disclaimer over**

So, if you can deal with those things then you might want to think about finding a vintage camera and trying your hand at ttv photos. I've been able to find 3 Kodak Duraflex cameras at local thrift stores. There are also a seemingly endless amount of them on Etsy and Ebay, and because you don't need them to be in working order they shouldn't be more than $15. Just make sure to really look at the viewfinder, you don't want one that has any cracks and I stay away from cameras where the lenses are too clean. The more dust your viewfinder has the more authentic your photo will look.

Once you've found something pretty to photograph, your photos should look something like this at first:

The photo on the left is without the light box and the photo on the right is with the light box sitting on top of the viewfinder. The lightbox is what's going to create that black frame around your photo.

Once you've uploaded your photos on the computer you can edit and crop them. I crop the ttv photo so that a thin black frame remains around the image, but you can decide how much of a frame you'd like to keep!

I try to take my Anscoflex with me whenever we go on little roadtrips. (Even with the risk of looking ridiculous!) I have this idea, some day, of creating a roadtrip scrapbook made entirely with my ttv photos of all my travels. I imagine the photos are similar to the photos my grandparents would have taken back in the 50's. Here's a few of my fav. road-tripping photos!

I have a ttv set on Flickr that I started. I forget sometimes to grab my vintage cameras, but when I do get a chance to take ttv photos I always fall in love with it a little more. I think it would be a fun hands-on class to teach. A little workshop where we could build lightboxes, take a stroll, and practice taking these photos... a "Life through a Double Lens class." I think it would be fabulous!!

So, it may be easier to use an app on your phone but I think it's more fun to try the real thing!! What do you think? Would you be tempted to try your hand at ttv photos? xo ~ Tara

Mar 8, 2011

Picnic Sunday in the park

Sunday was the most beautiful Sunday we've had in awhile. Breezy, sunny, warm but not too warm... and just perfect for spending the afternoon in the park. We played on the slides, dug for dinosaur bones, rode the train, fed the ducks, relaxed on a vintage quilt underneath pretty shade trees and enjoyed a rather lovely early Spring day.

I love parks, especially this one, it's so-so peaceful! I almost forgot to post the Menu for this week! I couldn't find good sourdough bread last week, so my Clam Chowder had to get pushed into this week. I have a good feeling that this week, as well as next week, are going to be ever so slightly hectic, so I'm keeping my menu stress free and simple.

Clam Chowder
Sourdough Bread

Swedish Meatballs
Sauteed Peas w/ toasted almonds

Fish Taco's
fresh Melons and Mango's

Tomato soup
Turkey & Havarti Panni's

Petite Steaks
grilled corn tortillas
Corn & Avocado Salad

I need to finish up editing some photo's this afternoon. One of my previous projects is being revived with a fresh new look and a new home!! I have to wait until the 1st to announce it but I'm super-duper excited to be working on it again!! Plus new inspiration is always a good thing in my book. Enjoy the rest of your day!