Fantastic Friday! *Giveaway Winner!*

According to our giveaway judge, Miss Is picked her favorite number between one and eight. The results were witnessed and notarized by David so I’m happy to announce the winner of the custom magnetic board to be….


Hope said...

Well I kind of crammed today for my Medical Terminology final.. (my hand was cramped really bad after 2nd block)... worked on my study guide for Algebra 2 in 1st block.... and then 3rd block I got a B on my Medical Terminology final :).... then I came home for early release and rewrote my letter of declaration for my Senior Project and wrote test notes for my Governments final tomorrow.... but as boring as it all sounds I had a pretty good day.

January 26, 2009 7:14 PM

Now you can keep you finals pinned for all to see! Congratulations on the win and for getting a B on your Medical Term. final! Just email me and we’ll get started.

To everyone else, thanks for playing in my first giveaway!


Lessons in What Not to Do: Sydney

Lighting and lens. That’s what I learned this time out. Better lighting. The need for reflective lighting. You know, those shiny white, flimsy fabric things… I needed one in a major way.

For the most part, all shots were indoors near either a window or a sliding glass door and many shots suffered from burnout (too bright of white/light) or were lost to the grainy, noisy shadows. Something reflective light would have take care of if I was smart enough to have one going in. Bet you can't guess what's on my shopping list?

As far as the lenses go, I think I need a wide angle to get a broader angle (duh, Stace) of the shots with limited space to work. Honestly, I was jammed up against the ceiling, lying on the floor or smashed up against the wall just to get enough distance no matter which lens I had on. You can only have so many eyeball and nose hair shots.

This was the harder of the three to do and the lack of quality shows, luckily I was able to salvage a few pictures just a tick below mediocre. Better days ahead, right? Instead of having a long, never ending display of photos to scroll through, I put together a brief slideshow. Music is by G. Faure, Pava Op. 50. Note: The video quality is really bad. I promise the actual pictures are much, much better.

What they really look like...

When A Good Idea Goes Bad *GIVEAWAY*

The only difference between the current state of my house and having an actual tornado tear through it is that the roof is still attached – that’s it. The good idea was to add wainscoting to the stairs, painting the great room, finish painting the loft/hall area upstairs and switch-a-maroo the Farmers bedrooms to give me space for an office. It all sounds fantastic, right?

I sold the furniture out of D.J.’s bedroom and bought a loft bed with a matching desk, chair, and rolling bookcase off of Craigslist. All the transactions went smoothly and I sold more than enough to cover the cost of the new bed. Why did D.J. need a new bed? Because he’s moving into Devin’s room in the dormer cubby and the more floor space he has, the better. He loves his new bed and the view from the top.

Now I’m left with toys. Lots of toys to find a new home for. Lots of toys will find a new home with the help of D.I. or Goodwill. Saturday I parted the closet and moved D.J.’s clothes in. Then it was time to tackle the mountain of toys which still stands this very moment. Sifting through Legos, Matchbox and Hot Wheel cars, plastic army men and enough Star Wars paraphernalia to shoot our own realistic movie has been overwhelming to say the least. Unfortunately, the mess doesn’t end upstairs where I can just shut the door, leave and pretend all is well and orderly in my world.

The dining room table is still out of commission; what was once in the hutch/buffet I sold is now on the dining room floor. Laundry, dishes and dust is a constant fact of life that if neglected for a few days will morph into a vicious, soul sucking, smelly monster intent on ruining my day – my week. Especially when Miss Is was struck with the bug Wednesday night and spewed all over her bedding. Raw Top Ramon embedded into the carpet, pretzels between the cushions of the couch and a pilgrimage of forgotten toys now suddenly loved and cherished scattered throughout the great room. And let’s not for get the bathrooms! The crunchy kitchen floor.

My computer crashed and burned, not because I chucked it out the window, though the thought did cross my mind. I was able to save most of my stuff, wipe the hard drive clean and reinstall everything. Usually I save that stuff for David, but since he’s been working all sorts of crazy hours, I had to be the geek in the family.

Monday morning and this is what I have to look forward to. Gee whiz, I’m so excited. Wanna make it a happy Monday? How about a giveaway? My first ever!

A magnetic message board like the this one, but you’ll be able to choose your colors!

DSCF0056 Message Board Papers This is what I got: Vintage looking postage/floral pattern, pink dots, orange and green dotted circles, blue bubbles, cheery floral and a green-light green floral.

All you have to do it tell me how your Monday went, it’s as easy as that! Random drawing will be Friday!

Lessons in What Not to Do: Gabe’s Invites

Another opportunity arose and I was able to sucker our friends into giving themselves up for science. Mad-science would be a more accurate statement as long as I’m the one behind the camera and in front of the keyboard. Like the previous ‘Lessons’ there is a mountainous learning curve ahead of me and this is what ground I’ve gained.

Vet your location. Having the “been there, done that” knowledge before you drag your prospective guinea pig to a particular locale can and will make the whole experiment easier, not to mention less traumatic, for the willing subject and you. For example, make sure that there isn’t an itty-bitty black kitty whose last life was spent somewhere around Halloween mere feet from your prime shooting area. Know that all that brown, gritty gunk on the asphalt isn’t a rash of dirt clods some tractor left behind months ago, but the noxious weed-seeds of Goatshead. Be mindful of smells even though the stench doesn’t reek onto the print, the scrunched nose and the tinge of green will. Thank you for not hurling.

I had more fun with Photoshop; less trials and fewer errors. Technically speaking, I still need to watch the minor things – major – things like proper exposure and depth of field, but overall, I didn’t have too much to tweak just to look slightly competent.

This is what I’ve come up with.

Great to be Eight closeup blog Straight Narrow Path v2 blog Straight Narrow Path Soft Blog Straight Narrow Path Hard

Collage v2 minus Gabe 8 copy

Collage v2 color gabe 8 copy

Thanks P’s for helping me build my monster, dead cats and all.

* Shot with a Nikon D60, Nikkor DX 55-200mm 1:4-5.6G ED and UV filter. Photoshop Elements 6/ CS3

Treasure Hunt Tuesday: Places I Love

There are so many places I love. The list would go on and on, each with their own special qualities near and dear to my heart and they would shuffle order depending on my current mood. This last week it became not so much as finding them as it was finding the time to getaway. I did happen to venture out to the orchard, a place that I love no matter the season or weather condition.

My little valley of Idaho happens to be stuck in the middle of an inversion and fog has been all anyone can see. Lending to the ghostly appearance, I think the mist has a surreal, lost feeling an empty orchard gives. There was some excitement to the outing though, on my way out through the upper road I was bl0cked in by two fire trucks and three Sheriff cruisers, all with their roofs lit up. Apparently, someone decided to set an alleged stolen car ablaze behind the stacks of wooden crates, setting a few rows on fire as well. One of the officers grilled me as to why I was there and of course, I start running at the mouth explaining my entire morning. I’m sure it was clear that I was an idiot, just not the grand theft auto and arson idiot.

So anyway, the places I love.

Orchard 1 Orchard 1b Orchard 2b Orchard 2d Sprinklers 2a Lake 1 The Lake. It’s hard to imagine flip-flops and sunscreen in four months time. The picture below was taken on the 17th of May, 2008.

Kalaloch, my home away from home and the place that I dearly miss. These pictures are, quite unfortunately, old. I love this pathway to the amphitheater. I used to ride my bike through it at top speed, now if I have the chance, a leisurely stroll to soak in as much as I can. The Sitka’s are misshaped because of the wind and develop tumors along their trunks creating a dense wooded area with lush undergrowth, bare middles and a dark green canopy above.


Miss Is at two! I believe her hair would be just as curly if it wasn’t princess length.MaddySCBeach2 ToiletTrio1 The “real” reason I love Kalaloch; building sand toilets with my sisters. It’s a long honored tradition, not necessarily toilets per se, but being there and getting dirty in the salty air. GIRLSO~2 I’m the shaggy-brunette on the right. Thought you’d enjoy a good laugh. And no, these pictures weren’t taken in 1960-something. More like 1987. Geez, I’m not THAT old. Left to right: Mom, Mindy, April, Jonathan and me.


Places I love.

What Can I Say, We’re Nerds

In some super-duper secret government plan, the offspring of Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers ( a.k.a. The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman) have been living incognito as my Farmers. Each one must have been switched at birth. It explains Miss Is’ sandy blond locks and the boys’ penchant for flying and other reckless, maternal grey-hair producing activities. Thanks to our newly installed hidden camera, we know what goes on when Devin is ‘tending’ his little brother and sister.


Commanding the Chaos

I’m happy to report that I have, for the most part, completed one of the many projects on my expanding To-Do List. My C.I.C.

You might be asking, “What’s a C.I.C., Stace?” There are over a hundred registered acronyms for C.I.C. Things like:

  • Commander in Chief
  • Counter Intelligence Center (US D.O.D.)
  • Combat Information Coordinator
  • Close In Combat (Marine Corps)
  • Communications Interface Controller (NASA, they have 3 different C.I.C.’s)
  • Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (Sometimes it just happens.)
  • Control and Information Center
  • Charles in Charge (For that 80’s nostalgia)
  • Cause It's Cool!!

All of the above. Except for Charles. I was never really a big Scott Baio fan and quite honestly, he couldn’t handle the job.

This is what happens when a girl has leftover wainscoting and an addiction to power tools.

First, I used a Skilsaw to rip the board length. Despite the name, it doesn’t take a lot of skill to run, just make sure all your appendages are accounted for.

Skillsaw Wains

I used the compound miter saw to cut the angles at a perfect 45.

Miter Saw

It doesn’t look sharp, but it cut through the boards like a bout of P.M.S. on a chocolate bar. I’m just guessing here… I wouldn’t know what that would be like or anything.


Next I laid out all the boards to make sure everything matched up, then I used the brad nailer to secure the frame first and the backing last. The sheet metal tiles were there just for looks at this point and were not attached. Filled the seams and nail holes with fast drying, easy sand, white filler. The stuff was like a tub of feather-light vanilla frosting. Something else P.M.S. would vaporize.

Message board layout 2

Time to paint. Two coats, cheap-o black paint left over from Devin’s Star Wars room. F.Y.I. We haven’t had dinner on the table for over two weeks now. I’m going crazy, the derby cars are almost done!


When the paint was dry, I centered the tiles and Goop-ed them down. A little goes a long way. Good thing, ‘cause I only had a little. 24 hrs to set.


I ordered each of the Farmer’s names, notes and schedule in vinyl. At the Hobby Center, I found an acetate overlay of a blank calendar; it was perfect for this project. Home Depot supplied the clamps for $0.33, I just pulled the blue rubber grips off and glued a strip magnet to the back. Those cute pebble magnets are in the plans and would be done by now if my printer hadn’t gone on strike… again.

Command Center 1

Scuff up the edges and voila! My C.I.C. Homework, permission slips, practice card, a months worth of church meetings… you name it and I’ll stick it. The sheet metal works great for dry erase and goes with my stainless steel appliances.

Everything Else Squares

Farmer Squares

I received an email ad from Pottery Barn and laughed when I saw their over-priced message/office centers. Sure, I can get extra doodads for keys and the like, but it won’t take my grocery budget to do it. Now all I’d like is a black console table to hold the charging cradles and more importantly, add some fluff. It’s still missing something. A catchy vinyl saying perhaps? What’d ya think? Any suggestions? I’d like to know!

Something Happened on the Way…


Feeling like my head was about to explode, I managed either enough courage or desperation to drive the little blue Focus to the clinic through compacted snow and ice topped off with a layer of water now that it was raining. It wasn’t a wasted trip and I discovered that I wasn’t completely crazy. My Eustachian tubes were plugged and that was why I was having all sorts of interesting symptoms and a migraine to boot. For a second, I thought those Sprite and Black Currant mixers I’ve been sipping on had a little sump’n-sump’n if you know what I mean. More meds and Miss Is and I headed home.

Near Old Town, on a connecting side road I saw a red, older model sedan fishtailing in my direction. I skooched over as much as I could without getting caught in the ditch to give this guy more room and slowed down to the blazing speed of 10mph. Just as the oncoming car approached, a punk-arse kid climbed out of the front passenger side window a la Dukes of Hazard and lobbed at literal bag of crap in my direction before slithering back in and speeding, slip-sliding away. It hit the front of the Focus and did what any wet bag of crap would do; get all over my car. I kid you not. Cross my heart.

Instead of getting their license plate number, I dealt with the shock of being crap-bombed. The last thing I wanted to do was wash the car, but I had no choice in the matter. I know I shouldn’t take it personally, I just happen to be at the wrong place at their right time. Even still, hosing off the hood of your car when you don’t feel good to begin with, the smell adding to the topsy-turviness of my tummy, was hard to swallow as a “ha-ha” teenage prank. Obviously their mothers failed to raise decent young men.

Hopefully, that’s the first and the last time I have to deal with brown-bagged business, but I seem to be getting a lot of opportunities lately. First the toy dog, stomach bugs and now this. Are the Powers That Be trying to tell me something? I can think of a specific slogan….. you fill in the blanks.


Fine Arts.

a. of or pertaining to the formal aspect of art, emphasizing lines, colors, generalized or geometrical forms, etc., esp. with reference to their relationship to one another. (*

I had to look it up. Yes of course, I know what it means… I just needed a little more ‘inspiration’ to wrap my noggin around it. Abstract and I have always had a love-hate relationship. The less abstract it is, the more I like it which if I really think about why I like it, my reasons tally on the side of abstract. How’s that for an abstract train of thought! Maybe I just don't really know what it means, which is more likely the case than not. I'm confused. lol Treasure Hunt Tuesday’s theme; Abstract.

I really wished that I had more time to play around with my camera this week. Tossing your cookies for 2 days and not only knowing, but able to safely – in a very timely manner – find a porcelain throne when you need it takes the fun out of my snap-happy attitude. For better or worse…


That’s about as abstract as I get. The rest is, well…. just the rest.

sunglasses 6

abstract sunglasses 6

wheat grass 1

abstract wheat grass 1 copy cattailsjpg

abstract cattailsjpg copyReed Grass 5

Abstract Reed Grass 5

Reed Grass 1

Abstract Reed Grass 1 copyAbstract snow

Pix Abstract snowDSC_0020

Ice 3

Abstract Ice 3 copy

Ice 5

Abstract Ice 5 copy Ice 1

Abstract Ice 1 copy