Monday, January 31, 2011

Thrive Project

7 comments I go. Taking action on my plan to improve my camera skills. I am hoping to someday have the mad skills of Jasmine Star. She is a wedding photographer, but I LOVE her....or maybe Tara Whitney. I LOVE her too. Amazing!!

This last weeks challenge for the Thrive Project was the Rule of Thirds. Basically in a beginners with not centering your subject. Becky does a much better job explaining of course. But that is the little snippet I tell steps. I need little pieces of information that I can digest, play with & then add some more. Layers...just like mixed media! :)

So here is my Sugar -I am so thankful that she likes to pose for her crazy camera toting Mama. :)

And...I have discovered Picnik . So easy and fun! Loving it! Do you use it? What do you use to edit or upload pictures? I have Photoshop too...but yet again I need to take baby steps with that as well. I am slowly finding my way around it. 

 Now off this computer so I can get Sugar to school, Love Bug down for a nap, and I can get messy with some paint. :) Have a beautiful, inspired beginning to the week. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Looking for Love & Hearts

I sooooo love my camera. I do. I have had  A LOT of different cameras and I am typically known as the "family photographer." Meaning you rarely see ME in any photos because I am always behind the camera snapping away. Anyone else? :) So, after my son was born - about a year and a half ago....
I finally decided to buy a digital SLR. I was hooked!

My little Love Bug at 1 month

Once I had my Canon Rebel  I couldn't stop taking pictures. My husband laughs at the mounds & mounds of pictures we have saved on our computer (mainly my kids of course). I tell him that it could be worse...I could have a different hobby. I don't know, say, buying shoes. :) 

Love Bug waiting for his sister

So you would think with all the pictures I take I would be getting pretty fancy, right? Not the case! Until recently I had only set the camera to Auto, turned off the flash, found good lighting if I could & snapped away. The manual setting intimidated me! But, I want to take advantage of this fabulous camera and really start to "learn" it.  That is something I want to work on this year - taking better pictures. There is SO much inspiration around on the blogs. And honestly....I am noticing the small things in every day life that I want to be sure to capture (and capture beautifully).

Lake Maime - Mammoth June 2010
So, in February I was happy to see that there will be some fun ways to work on my camera skills. First, adorable Chrissy is inviting people to find 
unexpected hearts. I love this. I can slow down and search the details in my life for something beautiful. I am looking - I am looking!! :)
Then, Jeanne who's style I adore is hosting All Four LOVE. Each Friday in February she is inviting us to "play along" & take pictures based on their weekly theme. This week it is Loved Deeply
So while I am looking....I can learn too from Becky at Farmgirl Paints. She is learning her camera also & bringing us along with her. Each Tuesday, she is sharing what she learns each week from a class she is taking, wants us to take some pictures & link up our pics. She is calling it the Thrive Project.

February is busy, busy....full of creative work. I love it. I am halfway done with Soul Restoration. Lots of art, reflection, praying, creating, searching, discovering, and relying on God and HIS infinite wisdom. 
February will be a wonderful, creative month - I look forward to it!!

What do you have planned for your February??

Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Friday...

Happy, Happy Friday!
I am looking forward to the weekend 
& working on all the projects I have to finish.
I know I will have plenty of time on Sunday with all the football! :)
(I am more of a basketball girl myself.)

Feeling full of love and growth!

Have a blessed weekend!
Jen :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Starting Restoration :)

I was so excited for this last week to start. a school girl before the first day. I gathered my supplies, squealed with delight when I opened my kit, talked at endless length to Hubs about all the exciting things bound to happen in the coming weeks. I was ready for this! It was finally time to start... 

I can't tell you how much I adore Melody Ross. Everything has been so wonderfully positive, uplifting and beautiful. When I heard about
Brave Girls Camp here, here, and here. Then some more fabulousness here & here. I couldn't imagine anything better. I have been on many church retreats and it is so special when a collection of women, beautiful women come together and share with each other. Magic...right? Pure magic. I am so happy to be a part of this online camp! If I can't be in the mountains of Idaho - online with my new, brave girlfriends is perfect. 

Funny thing is on Tuesday I had a hard time starting the work. I wasn't necessarily overwhelmed or scared...but just kind of, I don't know - blocked? I was sooooo excited. The first week curriculum - AMAZING. But, there I sat staring at all my gorgeous supplies and blank pages. Does that happen to you?  I kept telling myself to just start...come on...slap some paint on there. But instead, I decided my house needed a cleaning and I organized my art supplies!

Cabinet Supplies

 Oh Yes! Then the following day when I had a perfect time (during LoveBug's nap) to sit down, get my favorite sparkling water, turn up the tunes, and get started.... I felt we needed some of these babies...

They lasted a couple hours

So I cleaned, I organized, I baked, I avoided! What in the world? Finally, on Friday night I sat down after the kids were in bed and spent a couple hours on my projects. Once I got started - the flood gates of creativity opened and I felt my "mojo" return! I so anticipated the beginning of class that I threw myself into some kind of creative funk. Well, I can tell you that I am glad it returned. I can't wait for next week!!! 

Creative juices flowing again!
They are planning another session of Soul Restoration in April. You will love it - I promise! :) The Brave Girls Community is up and running now too. It is a great place to connect with other lovely, creative souls!! :)

Thank you so much for my sweet birthday comments. Gives me "warm fuzzies!" :)
Off to my creative spot! 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Birthday Magic

I know my birthday was before Christmas...but I just had to recap.
It was the 40th (which I STILL can't believe!)
It was super fabulous though. Mainly due to this guy...

My Hubby - AKA Babe

He tried so hard to make it special & memorable for me. Too cute. Initially, (a couple months back) I wanted a huge party with all my friends & family....DJ, food, dancing (I LOVE to dance)...the whole BIG thing. Then I changed my mind and wanted simple...or simpler. Just a quiet night with Hubby, dinner, walking the art galleries in Laguna Beach - relaxing by the beach. He planned exactly that for me. He made me feel very special. The only "boo-hoo" was the rain. It was pouring! So, we decided to save the "art walk" around Laguna for another time.  Something to look forward to, right?! :)

We had dinner at one of my FAVORITE restaurants in Corona Del Mar called Bandera.

Then we stayed overnight in Newport Beach....still pouring. But that's ok. My mind envisioned this. :)

We had dessert and just spent time together. The Hubs knew how much I wanted to take the Soul Restoration online class from  
The Brave Girls Club. And look what this cutie did......

Me - very happy! :)

I also love simple, understated silver jewelery 
& I got a perfect silver bracelet that I adore. 
And for this one it is all about THE BOX. 
There is just something about this box. Right? :)

The next day we got coffee, hit the book store & then went to pick up my daughter from my parent's that afternoon. Hubby wanted to take "his girls" out for an early holiday dinner. We had a yummy dinner at PF Changs & then planned to go see a huge decorated tree outside the Westin Hotel... or at least that was the story he was telling us. 
He was obsessed with this tree
We HAD to go see this tree
At this point I was ready to get out of the rain and into 
my warm, cozy bed. 
But, shame on me...I should have known. Hubby loves to surprise. 
He surprised us with tickets to 
And I wanted my bed...No way! By the end of the night I wanted to fly. :)

photo credit OCPAC
I definitely had a magical birthday to remember and I am so very lucky.
Thank you Babe for making me feel like I am the only girl in the world.

Soul Restoration starts VERY soon and I am SO excited.
I am ready to be 40 and brave!
I can't wait!! :)

Monday, January 3, 2011


I have my word for 2011! I didn't have one for 2010....
but I saw some great ones around on many blogs. 
I have been inspired by several this year too., I am feeling the need for one of my very own this coming year. Too overwhelming. I like words and goals. :)
So my word is......

That's it.

It's a small little word...but really can be life changing.
I think sometimes I don't have a joyful attitude or remember to find the joy in the little things as much as I could. Like my pastor was saying this last Sunday.... I find joy and contentment when things are going well. 
But, what about when they are not?
Can I still be full of joy.
And, I don't mean the fake, stick a smile on your face kinda joy.
I mean heartfelt, inner, sweet JOY.

So, I am going into the coming year hopeful that I can be joyful in all circumstances - whether good or bad. Even when things seem to be spiraling downward, I know there is a purpose in it. I just need to find it.

But...don't get me wrong, I am hoping for a LOT of wonderful happenings in 2011. The kinds of things that make me want to dance around the room. :) What is your word this year? 
What will make you dance like no one is watching?

 Joy 8x10 Mixed Media

Happy New Year!!