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Love. Create. Celebrate. : February 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Photography Class

Since I wasn't busy enough... I decided to enrol myself into a short photography class this year! It was given at the Grande Prairie Regional College. It was a tad more on the technical side than I was hoping for, but I gained lots of good tips and tricks from the course. The main objective in taking the class was to have some understanding on what aperture, ISO, shutter speed, etc. all mean. Aaaand I do mean "some" because before this class, my understanding was at a zero, on a scale from one to ten. Even now, I'm maybe at a 2. Tops. Putting your camera on "Auto" and taking pictures without really thinking is easy, but learning how to play with all the settings, and how changing the ISO will change the quality, and how to adjust your aperture to compensate for your shutter speed... that stuff is all a little bit more complicated. 

Why do I want to do this you ask?!?! Good question... even now I wonder... but truly, sometimes when my digital SLR camera is on "auto" or "program", I just can't get the picture I want! I know there should be a way on this fan-dangled fancy camera to get a better picture, but I can't... that is mostly why I'm learning. 

Anyway... here are some pictures to show some things I'm learning... These first pictures show changes that I made to aperture to let more or less light in (exactly the same picture though... ). 

And this is just a cool lens that the camera will automatically adjust to... who knew?!?

Then we learned about trying to capture motion. I learned that if I pan the camera keeping focused on one thing that I can get that one object clear (even though it's in motion) and the background will looked blurred. Assuming you have the correct shutter speed.... So I tried....

And tried....

And tried again..... 

And then I gave up. Cause I was doing something wrong. 

BUT! Then I went back to class and asked my teacher why it wasn't working.. and he said to pan in the same plain as my subject... so I tried again on a walk, and it sort of worked! See in the pic below... Russ was my subject, and his torso is pretty clear, but daisy is blurry, and the background is blurry! Ta-da! Obviously I still need a lot more practice with this, but it's a start! 

I also took a couple shots of Russ that day to try and use different lighting settings. The one below was suppose to have the sunlight on the side of his face so that you can really see the definition of his facial features. Kind of worked I think. Definitely doesn't look flat like many of the "sun-directly-behind-us" photos we normally take! 

That's all for now. Maybe I will share some more of my expertise with you another day.
If you're lucky ;)

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

12. Leave Canada

I did it!!! 

Although... this is not exactly what I meant when I said I would leave Canada. When I made my 13 0f 13 goal list I was hoping for an adventure. I still am... *wishful daydreaming*....

On my last night staying with my family in Vancouver we decided to head over the border for a quick trip after dinner. Seriously... A quick trip. Like only 10 minutes waiting at the border because it was 8:00 at night, and only two hours in the states because... well... the mall closed, lol. 

The main reason for going over the border was simple. ICE CREAM. Not just any ice cream.  Delicious ice cream from Edaleen Dairy farm. Yummm :) Honestly, the best ice cream ever. Delicious. Those who know me will not be surprised by the fact that I ordered Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough :) 

Since we were there already... why not go shopping! After all the Bellis Fair Mall was only a 20 minute drive away... so we went. And with only 30 minutes to shop, I managed to find shoes AND pants! I'm a dedicated shopper! Lol. 

Yummm :)
So technically I did it. I got out of Canada. Here's hoping that this is not the only time!!!!

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Restful Weekend

For me, usually travel is not synonymous with relaxation.
I tend to fill my vacations with event after event. 
I always get to do a lot, experience a lot, and see a lot. 

{This vacation did not fill that hold}

I went to visit family. 
And it was relaxing! 
We filled our days with events, but not new, time-consuming things. 
Days were filled with conversation, laughter and experiences. 
Events were relaxing. 
The pace of life was easy. 
This kind of vacation was long overdue. 

Here are some snippets from my restful weekend :) 


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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Home-Made Bachelor Party Shirts

My husband looked into buying custom made shirts for his brothers bachelor party in Vegas. Unfortunately, they were going to set him back about $45 per shirt. So we decided to make them ourselves!

I had helped with some iron-on shirts once before, so I knew it was really easy. Here's all you have to do:

  1. Buy iron-on pages (Michael's sells them) and t-shirts (Make sure you get the dark transfer paper if you're using dark coloured shirts) 
  2. Print the designs/photos/words, etc. onto the paper. 
  3. Cut out the design and peel away the backing, then place in the correct spot. 
  4. Cover with heat paper (provided) and iron for 20 seconds. 
  5. Enjoy!! 

Iron Transfer Page We Bought

View from all sides.
Front: Jeff's Stag Feb 2013, Back: 27 (number of years he's known him),
Right: Vegas symbol, Left: His name

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

1. Learn to Knit (continued...)

So, I've learned to knit. I'm still working on the basics, but I've advanced from this post about knitting and I've gotten very good at making dishcloths! 

When I made this a goal on my 13 of 13 list, I didn't just want to learn one thing and drop it though. I wanted to build up a new talent, something that I can hopefully use in the future to make things for myself and my family. Therefore, I'm still working on it... the next project I had in line was to make an infinity scarf (you know, the popular ones that wrap around your neck twice...).  So I started looking up come patterns. At this point though, to be honest, the patterns are all jibberish to me.. I don't know know what the abbreviations mean, or what the different yarns are. So I've gathered some friends. And we "Stitch & Bitch" together :) It's actually been great, because the first time we met they taught me how to use circular needles, taught me how to read some basic patterns, and didn't even complain! 

So I finished my first scarf project.... 

I LOVE the colour, but the scarf is too short... it said to use 70 stitches for the length, but I used 85 and it was still too short. So then I tried 100 stitches and made another scarf.... 

Somehow I looped the yarn around... so it's actually a TRUE infinity scarf, but did that completely my accident. My friend informs me that it was probably an error right from the first row... but oh well! You can't really tell when I'm wearing it! 

Next step... crocheting!!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How to Spend Your Sick TIme

If you're like me... there's really nothing you want to do when you're sick. 
Too tired to read. 
Too brain-dead to watch t.v.
Too rested to sleep.
Too frustrated to cook, bake, craft, or clean. 
Can't even focus enough to knit a stitch (my new favourite hobby).

Here's how I spent my sick time this time when I was out for the count.... pretty much the same routine for a month straight, lol. 


Caught up on my book and magazine reading. 
Mostly magazines, because you only need to concentrate for one little article at a time. 

 Permanently wore comfy clothes and slippers. Seriously... I LOVE these slippers :) 

Sat with the puppies... including letting them sit on the bed, and ate ice cream (perfect sick food!).
[note: didn't eat ice cream with the stomach flu... that would be a bad idea]

Painted my nails :) You need something to help you feel pretty while you're trapped inside! 

This is one of my current favourites - a greyish-purple colour. 

Hopefully I feel better again soon :( 


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Date Night Gift Jar

My husband and I try very hard to continue dating despite our busy schedules. 
The only problem is that we tend to re-do the same dates over and over again. 
Theatre. Movie at home. Theatre. Walk with the Dogs. Movie at Home. 

I thought maybe I could come up with a jar of "suggested dates" so that we don't have to be so creative on our own - the work is done for us! 

Here's the jar: 

What you need:
Mason Jar. Popsicle sticks. Pink, white & red spray paint. Acrylic paint. Ribbon. 
Coloured paper for a tag. Permanent Marker. 

What you do:
(1) Swoosh paint around mason jar - it paints itself. Just roll the jar around. 
(2) Spray paint popsicle sticks in different colours
(3) Write date ideas on colour-coded sticks {see below}
(4) Wrap ribbon around jar to decorate and create a tag to describe the colour differences
(5) Enjoy your dates :) 

Spray Paint

Paint Mason Jar

Spray paint popsicle sticks - they need multiple coats

Create a creative tag

Decorated Jar

Need some ideas to put in the jar? 

Red: requires more planning and more money (10 sticks)
Bed & Breakfast. Couples Massage. Weekend Away. Day trip with picnics and puppies. 
Drive somewhere we've never been. Dinner at a fancy restaurant. Concert and dinner (his & her choice). Host a Party. Shopping in the big city. 

Pink: Date night out (15 sticks)
Dinner & a movie (his & her choice). Dessert date. Bowling. Go dancing. Take the dogs for a hike. 
Grab friends for appies. Walk with ice cream. Window shopping for the home. Go watch a sports game. Go listen to live music. Coffee date. 

White: Date night in (20 sticks)
Backyard picnic & frisbee. Wine, cheese & scrabble. Nachos/wings and an action movie. Fondu and a chick flick. Board game night. Make a dessert together. Do a craft for the home. Write out bucket lists. Hottub & wine. Beer tasting at home. 

Sooo many good ideas out there! Pick some that suit you and your man :) 

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Valentines Treats!

I wanted to do something to share my Valentines Day joy with the ladies I work with, so I decided to bake some cupcakes to share with everyone :) 

Well... not just cupcakes... cupcakes with xoxo cinnamon hearts, and cute Valentines Day tags! 

Here are all the words and hearts I cut out with my cricut! Remember when I got this handy machine?? 

 I'm not a huge cinnamon heart fan myself - but I thought they looked cute :) 

Amazing tags :) 

More tags :) 

And I'm not the only one to share the Valentines Day love... a little boy handed these cookies out too! 
One for me and one for my love. 

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