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Monday, May 23, 2011

My Love for Kansas City

I have mentioned before that I absolutely love photography - and it was a very sad day a few months back when our laptop hard drive crashed and we lost every photo from the last 3-4 years {minus a few I had given to my family}. And yes, some of them are on facebook and whatnot but its not the same quality which is kinda a big deal to me. And yes, we learned our lesson big time and now own an external hard drive. And yes, we tried very hard to save it and took it to the best of the best computer nerds people in town, but the hard drive itself was so physically damaged that nothing was salvageable. That's our sad story. So with the lost pictures were vacations, family, friends, and some Kansas City photos that I had taken and had plans to hang in my home very soon. With the pictures being lost in the dark universe of lost hard drive information, it was time to go out and take some more pictures. So, last week on my day off I decided to be a crazy person and wake up at about 5am {which really is considered sleeping in for me compared to the days I work and get up at 4:30} to catch the sunrise from the best spot in the city to take Kansas City skyline photos. The place {I think} that is the best is Liberty Memorial that is directly in front of Union Station, south of the downtown area. I made it there just in time and set my camera up on it's tripod and just before the sun showed its face over the horizon the sky took on the most beautiful pinks/purples/blues that I couldn't have created in photoshop if I wanted to! And here's the result:
This is my un-cropped version, but I can't wait to hang this one in my home!
Here's a few others I took that morning:
Black & White of Union Station/Skyline

Liberty Memorial - I'm so glad the clouds were there that morning to provide an interesting backdrop!

I even went down to the plaza to get a couple of shoots, although this fountain one didn't turn out exactly how I had hoped, but I did get to use my tripod and use the slow shutter speed to get that flowing water effect:
Plaza Fountain

I really love my hometown of Kansas City, even though I hate the winters, snow and pretty much anything cold weather related, I couldn't imagine myself anywhere else. Taking pictures is such a fun pass time for me and I hope I can find more time this summer to learn more things about my camera, the settings and Photoshop too!

Tragic side note: Making national news last night and today is the story of the tornado that went through Joplin, Missouri yesterday evening and took the lives of many. Caleb and I have a few friends that live there and we are so thankful they are safe. Specifically, our friends Josh & Shelby and also our friends Aaron & Mckenzie - whose wedding is scheduled to be this weekend and that Caleb is a groomsman in. Caleb's brother who lives in Oklahoma City also happened to be in Joplin in the midst of everything and was able to take shelter and remain safe, praise the Lord. We are overwhelmed with sympathy for everyone involved and will continue to lift our prayers to God regarding this incident.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fabric Covered Bulletin Board

Finally I have finished one of the many small projects I have going on around the house!  This one is for my craft room {which is still very much of a work in progress itself}. I made a fabric-covered bulletin board using some new fabric I recently purchased and an old bulletin board I've had since elementary school.  It is nice to re-use something I have laying around instead of spending more money and throwing re-useable items away.  It is such a simple project and I know I will get a lot of use out of it.  So I started with my very old and doodled on bulletin board from way back when...
I removed the white frame from around the board.  Then went and bought a piece of high density foam at my local craft store.  I bought the thinnest one they had at the time, although I could have used one thinner than the one I bought.  Mine is a little thicker than what I would have preferred.  I cut the foam about 1/4 inch smaller than my cork board or else my wooden frames would not fit back on. Lola was obviously helping with this portion of the project...
 Then I wrapped the board and foam with my fabric.  The fabric I used is made by Kaffe Fasssett and the fabric is called Turkish Delight in Grey. I used upholstery staples to secure my fabric in place on the back of the cork board.
After a fresh coat of spray paint, I reattached my wooden frame to the fabric board.  At the last minute I decided to add some twine to run horizontally across the board.  I laid the twine where I wanted prior to putting the frame on - so the only way it is really attachted is by being pinched in place by the frame.
Then my handy husband hung it on a wall in my craft room! :)  And now I can use it to hang/pin up little bits of inspiration I find!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

New York, New York!

Over the Easter weekend, Caleb and I were lucky enough to go on a little getaway to New York City.  I had been there a long, long time ago with my family, but Caleb had never been.  We had a really good time and got lots of exercise in... walking that is!!!  We did use the subway, and a cab a time or two, but even with both of those there was still so much walking!  Which is good I guess because it helps burn off all that New York style pizza {which i LOVE}.
Other than the pains shooting up my feet at the end of the day, I enjoyed walking around and exploring this never-ending city.  And of course I had my camera in tow practically the whole trip.  Side note: I love taking pictures {I have a DSLR Canon T1i} and I love coming home and editing them in photoshop.  By no means am I professional, I merely stumbled upon this hobby.  It is something I really enjoy and I have taught myself everything I know up to now, like shooting and how to use photoshop {even though I only know a fraction of what there is to know}.  So walking around New York and taking lots of pictures was a priority!  Some of my favorite spots to take pics were the Brooklyn Bridge {Brooklyn side of course looking onto the city}, top of Rockefeller Center {great city views of central park, empire state building and everything else}, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and on the street at random markets and parks.  Unfortunately the Brooklyn Bridge was under some construction, so there is a white tarp over a section of the road-portion of the bridge.  Not ideal for my "perfect picture" but I guess that just means I'll have to go back someday. :) Here are a couple of my favorite pics:
Brooklyn Bridge looking towards Manhattan


From the top of Rockefeller Tower looking at the Empire State Building at dusk.

Blooming Dogwood and the Statue of Liberty

Inside Immigration Building at Ellis Island

And while there, I made it a point to go to some home decor stores, specifically one that I see Genevieve Gorder go to on her show "Dear Genevieve" that I watch religiously.  The store is ABC Home, and while it is very expensive, it had amazing displays and lots of inspiration.  I was walking around the store using my cell phone to take pictures of things I wanted to keep reference a of! Even if I am going into stores that are outside my budget, I love to get fresh ideas and NYC was a great place to do it! Now I'm ready to update my home with spring decor!
ABC Home store
Not the best picture, but I absolutely love these mercury glass light pendants.  The under side of the pendant that you can't see was a brassy color - they were gorgeous!

 Overall it was a great trip to spend time with my husband and also to get some wonderful home ideas!