Friday, October 31, 2008

Anyone Know a Good Dentist????

So this is what happens when Dad brings home faux teeth from the Halloween store!

Photo Mosaics

I have had a couple people ask about the photo mosaics that have appeared on my blog recently. I would like to tell you that I am incredibly clever and I created them myself with no help whatsoever but unfortunately that would not be the truth.
I actually got the tip from Kyla's blog. The website is Big Huge Labs and its free to join. You just upload your pics and select a format. The program does the rest. You don't have to download anything onto your computer except the finished product....Very cool.
There are lots of other fun things on the site too. The style above is called the "Hockneyizer" as it produces an image collage in the style of David Hockney. And then there is the Warholizer, photo cube and picture jigsaw. Lots of fun things to play with.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


This one is for Kyla, Shawna and Andie.

Apricot Oatmeal Bars

1 and 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 tspn Baking Powder
1 and 1/2 cups quaker oats
1 cup light brown sugar
6 oz butter melted
1 Big cup of warm jam

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the melted butter. Press half the mixture into an 8" x 12" baking pan. Spread the warm jam on top and sprinkle with the remaining mixture. Bake on 350 until brown..( about 30-40 mins). Cool and cut...Be careful...the jam is HOT!
Now just a bit of background. This recipe comes from my Mom's cookbook. She grew up in the Australian Outback on a farm where they grew wheat and raised sheep. When it was the shearing season the travelling shearers would come to the family farm and get paid to shear all the sheep. She had a number of recipes she called "Shearer's recipes" which included scones, cookies and of course, Apricot Oatmeal bars. I never really asked her why she called them "Shearer's recipes" but I like to think that is what they used to feed the shearers when they were enjoying a break from their work.
So if you get time to make this recipe you'll be bringing a little bit of the Aussie Outback into your kitchen! Happy baking.

Made With Love

...apricot oatmeal bars.
...made with love. Happy LT!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fall Foliage

Just playing around with some pictures I took yesterday. Having fun with different treatments. Seeing the colors and light change . Always something new and different to enjoy.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Corn Maze

After reading a post at Shutter Sisters about the images we are naturally drawn to shoot, I decided I need to stretch my photographic wings a little. I seem to be drawn to macro photography more than anything else. I like looking at a simple object and delving deeper to see the intricacies that make it up.
So I think I need to devote some more time to other types of photography. A recent trip to the pumpkin patch with my son's class convinced me that spending a little bit of time honing my portraiture skills could really reap rewards. I find that when I take "people" pictures it is mostly of my kids and family only.... and so as a bit of a challenge for myself I have vowed to work on getting more creative with portrait photography.
I had just taken a picture of this little girl walking through the corn maze and it was just an average picture but getting up close and "filling the frame" as they say...made all the difference! Her beautiful face inspired me to try and be a better "people" photographer.

Chill in the Air

Early morning frost dusted the lawn this morning. Winter is definitely on it's way.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Getting geared up

Today we headed out to this little local ski store to gear the kids up for the impending ski season and I couldn't resist getting the camera out and taking a few snaps. The store had all these really fun touches....all chairs were either made from old skis or were old ski lift chairs. The kids enjoyed testing them all out in preparation for the real thing.

Sun Flare

After being inspired by my friend Michelle's sunflare shots, I decided to venture out and see if I could capture some of my own. I loved the color of these autumn leaves. They only appear for a brief moment then they are gone.

Like they are going out with a blaze of glory.

The branches alive with these impossibly vivid colors. Here today...gone tomorrow.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Love Thursday

My husband found this little note from our son under his pillow last night! Happy Love Thursday!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

All in the Name of Beauty

For some reason that I still don't fully understand, most women despise the sight of their own body hair and will go to extremes to have it removed. Not on top of their head mind you but on every other part of their body. Most men also find excessive hair growth on females unattractive so is it any wonder that we will go to such great lengths to have these unruly outcrops removed. We are prepared to have it shaved, plucked and literally ripped from our bodies all in the name of beauty. Well unfortunately for my husband the days of my pursuit of hairless beauty could be over. Yesterday I went to the hairdresser to have my haircut and she asked if I wanted my eyebrows waxed while I was there. Sure! That saves me another trip to the salon. Now I have my brows waxed all the time...and while yes, it is a little uncomfortable..I'm tough...I can handle it. Well not yesterday. This women didn't only manage to remove a few unruly eyebrow hairs but she was also able to take a good part of my eyelids with it. She assured me that they looked "just great" even though my eyes were watering like crazy and I was starting to have some difficulty opening my eyes. By the time I got home my eyelids were an oozing, puffy mess - (gross I'm sorry but it is the truth)..Today they are a little better so I had to take this picture and share the damage. My husband tells me that he thinks the damage is permanent and my Friend Dana tells me it looks like I am wearing pink eye shadow.So I can see this trauma coupled with the current financial crisis are all pointing me towards one thing...Good bye waxing...hello mono-brow!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Best Seat in the House

A quiet corner...sitting in the sun...knitting! Hmmm...peaceful. Just a few more moments until school gets out.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Knitting Season

With the ski season fast approaching I thought it was high time to get out those knitting needles and start making some scarves and hats for the kids...(and hopefully myself too!) Here is the first of this season's projects...a scarf for Max. The others have put in their orders too so I'll have to get knitting some more!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Candle Making

We are candle people at our house. We usually have at least one candle burning at any given time of the day....bathrooms, kitchen, living areas. I like the scented ones. They help remove cooking smells from the air and freshen up the house. And because we tend to go through a lot of candles we decided that we could probably make our own candles so ....

For Matt's birthday I bought him a candle making kit. I bought it online from Lone Star Candle Supply. There are a lot of other great candle supply stores but we found this one to be affordable and great for a beginner! The kit came with the wax, molds, wicks, instructions and some sample colors and scents.

The kids decided that they wanted to make some green colored coconut lime verbana scented votives. They helped with the measuring of the wax, the scents and the colors. I was surprised at how easy the process was and how little mess we made considering we had so many "helpers".
We melted the ingredients in a double boiler on the stove and then Matt poured the melted wax into the molds.

We chose votives but you can really make whatever you want as long as you have the right mold.

We were very happy with the final result. And the best part is it cost us only about half the price of the "professional" ones ...and it was SO much more fun.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Red Hair or Strawberry Blonde?

Ciara's hair is just divine. I always tell her about how much I would love to have her hair.... the color in it is just amazing. Matt and I aren't too sure where it comes from..(maybe the milkman has something to answer for!) but I could just take pictures of her and her gorgeous locks all day. As far as the color goes, she is adamant it is strawberry blond...either is to die for!

Picture Day

It's individual picture day at school today and the kids got out of bed a half hour early this morning to "get ready".

Sometimes the kids don't get their pictures taken until after lunch in which case all this intensive preparation is in vain. So I thought I'd snap a couple of quick pics this morning before Ciara lost her curls.

Max had shirt issues this morning. When you are 8 "coolness" is apparently important!

Jack believes that smiling involves showing as many of your teeth as possible, so catching him in a candid moment tends to be a little more flattering.

They were all such good sports....despite the fact I made them sit out on the front porch at 7:00am when there was still frost on the ground. Anything to keep Mum happy.
Even Dad got in on the act!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Love is....

Love is leaving the last chocolate for your wife!
Hubby came home from work last night bearing and chocolates....just because! What a lovely surprise. I think I'll keep him!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad

"Spread your wings" posted this little bit of nostalgia and I think I might follow suit. It is my Dad's birthday today. He would have been 79. Not a day goes by that I don't miss him and Mum. I'm not sure that the death of a loved one is something you ever really get just learn to live with it. So in order to celebrate what a wonderful life he had, I revisited some of the old photographs that my brothers had found and sent to me.
These pictures were taken in the mid seventies at Surfers Paradise on the Australian Gold Coast where we used to go every summer for our family vacations. Lots of sun, surf, sand....and memories. Happy Birthday Dad!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Scream

May be the Halloween season is to blame for this post. See any similarities????

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pumpkin Carving

Now that Fall is officially here we just couldn't wait any longer. The kids have been asking to get some pumpkins to carve and so we took the plunge and went and picked out some pumpkins. There is always a lot of time and effort that goes into selecting just the right pumpkin...size, color, blemishes, weight...did I mention size..(for boys size is really the only has to be BIG.). So after spending an hour or so picking the perfect gourd we headed home to start the fun part...the carving!

The kids did their own designs and we spent a lovely afternoon sitting in the sun chatting while they worked on their pumpkins.

We kept the seeds tossed them in a bit of worcestershire sauce and roasted them in the oven...DELICIOUS!

We are thinking they will last about a week on the porch in the frost before they rot but we can always make some more....I am savoring these wonderful moments with our children. These really are the best days of our lives!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Autumn Colors

I ventured out into the garden to capture some autumn colors. Fall is such a wonderful time. You can feel the chill of winter coming but the sun still manages to break through.

"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all."- Stanley Horowitz

Nose Bokeh

This one is for Michelle - Nose Bokeh!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Putting on the Earth Mother Apron

In light of the current frenzied panic that has gripped our financial markets and economy, Matt and I were reflecting on our lifestyle and we decided that a bit of frugality would be good for us. Nothing too drastic mind you....just changing a few of the little things like eating less take out and having more home cooked meals..(Matt's dream would be to have meat and 3 veg for dinner every night...unlikely!!!) So as a result I have put on my "earth mother" apron and am getting down to work. I wanted to share my first attempt today at being frugal. My neighbor told me that he plans to pull all the plants out of his vegetable garden this weekend because the first frosts had killed them all off. The sad thing is that his tomato plants were full of green instead of seeing them go to the great compost heap in the sky the kids and I "rescued them" and we are going to try and let them ripen in the basement then make spaghetti sauce with them. I'll let you know how successful our endeavor turns out to be. In contrast...this is my husbands response to handling the impending economic doom!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Brotherly Love

Inevitably, if you have boys, you will know that physical contact between them seems to be as natural as breathing. My boys like to wrestle with each other and their Dad and it seems almost impossible at times for them to touch each other and not end up with their limbs entwined, rolling around on the floor in fits of giggles. So it should have come as no surprise to me really when they asked me to take their picture recently. I knew I had a small window of opportunity before the scene above turned into the one below...I guess that is just brotherly love!