Sunday, April 27, 2014

First third

Can you believe we're about to be one third of the way through 2014? There are lots of little things that have been going on since the first of the year that I've neglected to blog. So to catch you up, here's a summary of various events with some pictures that never made their way here. Many were not taken or sized with blogging in mind, and so this post won't look as neat and even as some do. I'm sure you were concerned! I just know that if I try to make everything look perfect (ha), I'll never get caught up.

(Above is a little collage I made awhile back but never posted here for whatever reason.)

In January I got a new cell phone! I went from the Motorola Atrix to the Moto X. I've had pretty good luck with Motorola over the years, so I decided to stick with them. I love my new phone--the screen is larger, it works faster, and the camera is so much better. I've been much more active on Instagram now that I can take un-fuzzy pictures and use filters without it crashing. (If you have Intagram and want to follow me there, I am Greengatephoto.)

In February I decided to send out Valentines to many of my friends. It was a big project, but I was really happy with it and the process of putting all of them together gave me a lot of unexpected joy instead of being tedious. Also, I looooved the look of the black envelopes. Enough that I had to take pictures. :)

BEFORE: In late February and early March, I made some changes to my living and dining areas now that I have a more neutral couch to work with. This is how my livingroom looked in 2010.

AFTER: And here it is now.

Do you like my pillows?

BEFORE: This picture shows a bit of my dining room.

AFTER: Here it is now. Just a few adjustments here--added curtains and pictures on the wall.

In mid-March, my friend Shannon visited from New Zealand. He was in the US for work, and made a stop here since we hadn't hung out since 2006 in Tahoe. And to clarify, because I've been asked several times now: he's just a friend.

It wasn't the very peak of cherry blossom wondrousness at the capitol, but close.

We went inside the capitol, and I hadn't ever been! This is looking up into the dome.

We also went to Silver Falls.

NOT PICTURED: At the end of his visit, we met up with my friend Dan in Portland to see the Veronica Mars movie on its opening night! It was really fun--I loved that show, and was super excited when they were able to go forward with a movie (funded on Kickstarter).

I've been getting a little more into crafts lately, and my friend Mariel (aka Crafty Crafterson) has lots of fun supplies. She has come over a couple of times to make stuff with me, and on this particular visit I made several things with scrapbook paper. A cell phone "cover" (just an insert that goes in my existing clear case), paper lanterns (with battery candles)...

...and some greeting cards. Also, not pictured, I got to use her new embosser.

I've been to Deepwood a time or two since spring began.

I had a spring get-together with some friends in mid-April.

I made this orange buttermilk cake, but it came out a bit dry.

We drank Shirley Temples and had nachos for dinner.

We played a couple of games of Bingo on these print-out cards I found online.

And I had the girls make marble magnets. They are concentrating.

On April 14, my dad notified me that there was going to be a lunar eclipse that night, so I decided to stay up and take pictures. Well, it ended up being cloudy off and on and so I never saw the final red moon, but here are a few of the photos I took leading up to that.

The best part of the night was that I met a neighbor (and her friend) when she saw me out with my tripod. It was so nice to have company instead of being alone outside at midnight. Thanks again, Sandra, if you see this!

Then, as you know, I went to California to visit my parents for Easter. More photos from that to come.

And finally: geese babies! Last night, Mariel and her husband Jon came over for crafts and games, and one of the highlights was seeing 8 goslings swimming across the lake and walking around below my deck. They were there again this morning, so it looks like I may get to watch another set of goslings grow up like last year! We'll see how many survive.

Today the weather has been going back and forth from sunny to steady rain and wind. I have been relaxing and working on photos, and now I can't believe it's already after 4! I'm sad the weekend is almost over, but at least it was a good one with a nice balance of friends and some down time. Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter weekend sample

Blog, I have lots of pictures to post on you. I am now back from California and enjoying the gray rain in Salem. :| I had a great trip, though! I was bummed to end it. It was low-key and relaxing, and I got to take hundreds of pictures and be outside a lot. Here are a few of the pictures, and I'll try to catch up with more in the coming weeks. I still have photos all the way back to winter that I have been meaning to post here! I may just give up on some.

On Saturday evening, my friend Dania, my mom and I took a drive over to Bear Valley near Colusa. I had read about some wildflowers there. The wildflower display wasn't quite as I imagined, but it was a pretty drive and fun time. California is green like this for such a brief time that I was very glad I didn't miss it.

We decided this was a good place to turn around and head home. :)

Per my request, Easter dinner included fresh artichokes and tri-tip (I like it well-done). Two things I rarely have anymore. So good!

One of my favorites of the flower-droplet photos.

Close up. I've been polling people to determine which of these two pictures they prefer. I welcome your input!

Finally, some cute vases my aunt gave my mom.

I got several bug photos on this visit, too, and I'll probably put those in their own post so that you can skip it if it gives you the creeps. How was your Easter weather?

Saturday, April 19, 2014


I'm visiting my parents (in northern CA) over Easter and just felt like checking in with a funny picture of their dog Rocky. He likes to wander around the pond and tuck into the leaves like it's his private spot. Rocky can be a pain, but I admit he's very cute and getting a little mellower with age. Plus, Mom trimmed his fur a little and he's all clean and fluffy with his helmet hair.

My flight last night was so easy. I guess it's not a popular time to travel. The lines were short or nonexistent, and my plane was half-empty. I got a whole row to myself. The weather is nice here and I have been taking pictures around the yard. Tonight I'm headed out to see wildflowers (hopefully!).

Have a great Easter!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A little spring

Just a few recent photos. Hint: photos tend to look more interesting in collage form.

This weekend has been fairly gray, but whatever. It's supposed to get much sunnier and warmer tomorrow! Here are a few things going on with me:

  • MOVIES: I finally saw Frozen yesterday. I think all the hype influenced me and I liked it, but didn't love it. I prefer Tangled. I also watched Jobs on Netflix this weekend, and thought it was good and enlightening (depending on its accuracy). I knew very little about Steve Jobs.
  • BOOKS: I just finished the book Parallel by Lauren Miller. I liked it! I also recently finished the second book in the Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben, and I'm currently reading Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen and rereading Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler.
  • HAPPY: I'm looking forward to having some friends over next weekend for a spring gathering, and then visiting my parents over Easter weekend!
How about you? Seen any good movies? Read any good books? What are you looking forward to in April?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Happy April! Over the weekend I did some more experimenting with droplet photography. Here are a few of my favs.

[Oh and PS: I am trying some changes to my blog design and photo sizes. As I write this, my blog has a temp layout, but I hope to improve it in the coming weeks.]

I tried some more bubbles while I had all my supplies out.

And, sure, why not take some photos of the flowers themselves?

I feel like saying something about watermarks right here. I know that they don't do much in the way of protecting my photos, so my main purpose in using one is to label the pictures if they get away from my website (like on Pinterest or something). When I see photos around the web, sometimes I like to know who did the photography. Also, I hope they would at least sway someone from using them illegally.

I tried some non-flower subjects just for fun.

Elephants! This is just a picture in one of my kid nature books.

I also tried some different options for the droplets: glycerine and sugar water. I did some reading and apparently that's what some people use, and it does give a little more control over the droplet. I wouldn't say it was a breeze to work with, but it has its advantages.

Thanks for looking! The size of these photos will take [me] some getting used to, but I think it's nice to show a bit more detail. If you're reading this on your phone, it shouldn't make much difference.

I hope your April is full of goodness. :) Thank you for looking.


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