Saturday, November 22, 2014


I meant to blog this past week, but I've been fairly tired and unmotivated in the evenings. I was also overwhelmed by how many ice photos I had and didn't know how to narrow them down. To be honest, most aren't very fabulous; it's the subject matter that I find really interesting, so I still wanted them to do more than sit on my hard drive. So I made a slideshow! Fading photos in and out to music is one way to make them seem a bit prettier. ;)

This might seem kind of long, but hopefully it's entertaining. There's music, but feel free to watch without--it's not pertinent. I did want to give a shout-out to my friend Michael, though, because his music is the soundtrack. He composed and recorded these years ago and I've been wanting to use his music in a slideshow for awhile now.

Here's the video, and then scroll down after it so I can tell you about some fun paper snowflakes!

Ice from J M on Vimeo.

The other day my 15-year-old niece, L, learned how to make these snowflakes at school. Then she came home and made some for her bedroom, and her mom instagrammed them. I loved them and wanted to learn how, so last night we Skyped and she taught me. It's pretty simple once you get the hang of it (it took me a few tries to cut the paper correctly--I felt so incompetent since my 7-year-old niece got it on the first try). You can make all sorts of sizes and colors depending on what paper you have on hand. I used some cheapy (better, since it's thinner) scrapbook paper to make the one above (seen above my couch), but you can use printer paper, origami paper, maps, newspapers, anything.

A friend on Instagram said she wanted to teach her daughters, so I thought I'd link to a few videos that teach you how. You can also just do a search for "3D snowflake tutorial" and find some options. Here are a few: - This has the woman actually talking to explain, whereas the others are set to music.

I really enjoyed doing a craft via Skype and I think we'll have to do that again soon. I've also learned how to make rubberband bracelets from my niece N via Skype, and my friend Dan was even able to tutor L in math! It's obviously way better to hang out with my nephieces in person, but since we live a few states apart, I'm really glad I can still see them and spend time with them.

Have you ever made these snowflakes? My friend Dania said she made them at work one year, and they hung them all over the office!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Pictures of everything (4)

I have a few more photos to finish off this series, which is good because I'm ready to move on to the next! (More on that in a minute.)

This feels like forever ago now. Why was I here again? ;) Okay, I think I already talked about how I dropped by the winery when I noticed all the yellow vines. Plus, Willamette Valley Vineyards has an awesome view. I love that place! Maybe it needs its own label.

Hey, beautiful!

It feels like I already posted this, but I've tried not to overlap. Though I'd be surprised if I didn't accidentally post a photo in two different entries.

My favorite shade of green. This makes me think of the dress my mom sewed me for my 8th grade graduation. The fabric was dark green, but had black in it too so that it kind of changed shades a bit with the angle. Sort of like iridescent. I don't know what you call that, but it was awesome and my friends all admired it. :)

I photographed that little spider without knowing he was there! He was so tiny, and I was trying for droplets.

There's some sort of oozy stuff on the mushroom and I don't know what it is. Snail slime?


The tiny tiniest of mushrooms.

Yay! You have reached the end of my Mushroom-Dew Obsession photos.

What's next on the agenda?

I'm glad you asked! We had some freezing rain, and the neighborhoods near mine were coated in ice. It was BEAUTIFUL, and I was fortunate enough to be able to take lots of pictures. I'm still narrowing them all down, but I hope to post them over the next week. If you follow me on Instagram, you're probably already tired of it! Too bad so sad.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pictures of everything (2)

Back with some more photos. Read a little explanation in my first post, if you haven't seen it already.

I need to think of a better word than just "Enjoy!" as my little send off to see the photos. Thesaurus time. Okay, I've got it--luxuriate in these!

Wow, is that an electric version of pink for everyone? Once again, the photos look different in Picasa than when I edited them in Photoshop. Sunglasses possibly required.

Aw! How romantic. Also, do you see the fly on top of the taller mushroom? He's coated in some droplets, so it's hard to tell.

A little grainy, but considering this was ISO 2500, it's not bad.

More to come! I hope you're having a nice week so far.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Pictures of everything (1)

I've been so lazy today. Yesterday morning I got up and out of the apartment much earlier than I usually would on a Saturday because I was eager to take advantage of the foggy conditions. I ended up at the Ankeny wildlife refuge, and then at Willamette Valley Vineyards, hiking around in the wet grass taking a picture of anything with a dew drop on it. Dew drops are photo ops, that's what I always say! (Actually, I only made up that incredible rhyme just now, believe it or not.) Meanwhile, I had an invite to play games that evening, so I went home and cleaned up before having friends over. My point is that I was pretty active all day (and it was a very good day!), so today I guess I'm making up for it. Let's just say, I've stayed very caught up on my Words With Friends games today. (I'm Greengatephoto if you want to play.)

I have taken 895 pictures on my new camera (that arrived Tuesday last week). I wanted to see what everything looks like in a picture by this new camera, even if I've taken the same photo ten times before on the old one. I've narrowed down a few to show you, though I wouldn't say they are necessarily the best. I chose some just because they're kind of interesting, even if not perfectly composed or edited. Some may be really uninteresting--it's hard for me to know at this point. I lose perspective the more I look at them, and the more I take. Hopefully your fresh little ojos will enjoy these.

Anyway, I'm not going to caption or explain everything (but you know I'll say a little something here and there!), so I'll just tell you that these were all taken either: at work, at the refuge or at the vineyard. And you're going to see a LOT of droplets, along with some mushrooms, plants and insects (specifically cucumber beetles, in most cases). Also, I'm mixing these up a bit, so they aren't in order and they'll switch back and forth between subjects.

I just thought this was funny how you can see the parking lot in the droplet. Ah, so majestic! Cars.

I've said this on Instagram and stuff, but there are just soooo many mushrooms at work right now. We had all the right weather conditions and they are everywhere you go. I tried to capture the different kinds.

I'm not sure how many of the insects I photographed were actually alive. Just pretend they all were, if you prefer.

A little knob mushroom.

It looks like a fishing poll with a fly holding on.

Not the clearest shot, but I thought you might like to see it up closer.

I didn't spend much time on these uglier mushrooms, but wanted to show you some variety.

Alright, that's enough for now. I have several more that I'll be posting throughout the week (hopefully!).


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