Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Seaside on a Sunday

I often share things that are happening in my little basement studio on Sundays. There are a couple of things beginning to brew down there but they aren't really at a place where I feel like sharing -- yet. 

Part of the reason I am running behind on my projects is that I was away at the Seaside for a short birthday trip for my hubby. Of course, I felt compelled to take a few pictures. In lieu of what's happening in my studio (or for that matter in my life right now), I'm going to share a couple of my favorite shots from the coast. 

Sometimes, including today, I wonder just why I take photos. Then I remember that they make me happy. I hope they make a few of you happy too. 

None of these are currently available in the shop, but as usual they could be. 

And... the first person who can let me know where we were today (what city)... and posts the correct answer in the comments, can have their choice of an 8" x 10" print of any of the photos I am sharing in this post today. 

Be well. Do well. Stay well. 

Please don't forget to check out the shop and share it too! There will be new items between now and the end of the year... semi-regularly I hope. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Reed College Canyon

This is where I am going today. I loved this place two years agao when I went regularly with my son's class when he was in sixth grade. Today I am going along with his class now that he is in eighth grade. Hoping it clears my mind.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What a shot Wednesday

Sorry I haven't posted since Sunday but to be honest life has gotten in the way. I did want to at least check in and share a shot or two today. 

So here goes... For some reason today, this is the shot that speaks to me.

Florence, Oregon - Bridge at Night

Big Sur at Sunset
 Maybe it is because life seems like a blur with children... they are in kindergarten one day and the next it seems they are growing a bit of a mustache or getting their period. Sheesh. Maybe it is because my life feels all chaotic and blurry and unclear right now. Not sure why exactly, but this is my shot for the day. 

And a shot from a photo blog I have found and will visit often for inspiration, Stuck in Customs by photographer Trey Ratcliff. This is just one of many amazing photos of places around the world. I wouldn't mind being in Big Sur right about now. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Seasonal Sunday

It is definitely pumpkin patch season. In Portland we have had two amazingly dry and warm weekends in a row and pumpkin seekers have been out in force. We went today and got our share. A few pics... 

Oh my gosh! I totally forgot to mention that in all my years of pumpkin patching, I have never ever seen what I saw today. I am thankful that overall Oregonians are wise about the ways of a farm (even a working one). But today there it was, a woman standing in the field full of pumpkins and stems, wearing full on fancy pointy toed high heels! It takes all kinds. 

Disclaimer... I'm not against high heels in general, just in a dusty dirty old pumpkin patch!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sunny Saturday

It is a gorgeously sunny Saturday here in Portland. Wish I was feeling up to more than I am. Suddenly feeling as though one of the many things that are going around just might have caught up with me. I want to feel up to going for a hike, or going out to take some pictures or thoroughly cleaning and reorganizing at least one room in my house. I'll be lucky if I get to and through my self-defense course I'm scheduled for today and then bed. 

I have managed to muster enough energy to snap a few pictures of what things are like around our house today. Give you all a small glimpse into my world. Trust me, you probably don't want a big glimpse. Too wide an angle on this camera and you'd get to see all the piles of clothes and things that need de-cluttering! 

See if you do it just right (careful of the angle and all), you'll see a lovely and pretty clean looking living room: 

I do however want to hang that leaves photo on that space of yellow wall soon rather than "leaving" it (get it) on the mantel. 

Otherwise, however from this photo, things are looking good. 

Yes it is very typical to find random Nerf guns without a proper home -- taking up space in a laundry basket, which is in turn living on a chair (who needs to sit down). You have no idea how many surfaces we can cover in a day thereby forcing us to sit anywhere else other than actually on the chairs in our living room. 
Of course there are several ways to think 
this. Who needs to worry about how comfortable a chair may be when it will house various backpacks, Nerf toys and clothing? 

All these chairs normally have to do it look good and be prepared to hold up various accoutrements of daily life! 

I guess I'd like them to be actual chairs that we sit in more often but probably not so much today except the one in the top photo -- it is ready to go unless of course we figure out something to clutter it with. 

And despite the fact that it is 11:00 a.m., I am still in my robe! I may not be on my game today, but check out Olivia, the ever vigilant guard dog looking for anyone or anything she can use as an excuse to bark. 

And yes that's me outside in my front yard in the glorious autumn sun ... in my bathrobe ... snapping the pic! 

Frankly the we both look a bit ghostly in this particular shot. 

Watch out Kim Kardashian! I'm making a fashion statement on this laid back Saturday -- or NOT! 

And last but not least in this glimpse of our world today, is this photo that seems to show not only some semblance of tidiness (but if you look super close also clutter), but more importantly an empty wall! This wall normally holds our Advent calendars when we get to that point but of course it is too early for that. For now, I believe it needs a little something to spice it up and I have an idea. 

For now it will remain an idea because I'm feeling frumpy but I'm hoping by posting this to motivate myself to create something for that spot to share with you soon (maybe tomorrow on Studio Sunday)!? 

What would you put in this spot if you were decorating? Do tell ... share a comment. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What a Shot Wednesday - Gift Ideas Edition

I can't believe it has been a week since I posted last. Life has gotten very busy with school back in session and holidays around the corner. I am gonna throw out a few shots today that I think could make nice gifts and/or a great way to decorate certain rooms in your home. 

Who doesn't love coffee? Not in the shop yet but could be.

Scrabble tiles photographed on a wooden photo sign. 

Surround this plaque with favorite family photos on your wall or a shelf or mantel. 
Perfect compliment to your beloved pictures. 
Take your family photos to a whole new level!

Bedroom door sign

New parents will love this sign. 

And Gifts: 

For him: 
Shaniko, Oregon Ghost Town Collage Photo Print

For her: 
Glacine Snowflake Photo Pendant

For the newlyweds:

For everyone: 

You can check out all the options... and there will be more regularly here at the Mama Picture This shop! 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

What a Shot Wednesday - Thursday Edition

Today my "What a Shot Wednesday" shot of my own happens to be six shots recently taken in Florence, Oregon. I am debating which, if any, to put in my shop. I am thinking I might put some "collections" in there such as the Florence, Oregon collection and sell them individually and/or in a set (although six seems too many for a set to me). 

Happy for your feedback on this idea and/or which photo you'd like to see for sale in the shop, if you have an opinion. 

As for other great shots to share today, I stumbled across this gorgeous autumn leaf photo by French photographer Kiki Plumier:

Kiki's photo reminds me a bit of this one I took in my office parking lot a while back but different. Water is a never ending source of great reflection photos. And now since this What a Shot Wednesday posting is actually happening on a Thursday (my girl needed great comfort from Mama for an upset stomach), ENJOY! And if you love my autumnal leaf reflection, it will be available in the shop again shortly in this section:

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday - How to turn a photo into a photo canvas

There are tons of ways to turn a beloved photo into a photo canvas. Do a quick google search or two and just see how many you find. My current preferred method is photo transfer and I thought I'd share the process with you one more time since it is TUTORIAL TUESDAY! 

I have searched and tried a few different methods but found my favorite on the "Come on Ilene" blog. I will outline my process here but you may also want to check out here wonderfully simple tutorial here: Make Your Own Canvas Prints.

So far I have made 2" x 3" up to 8" x 10". I'm planning on trying larger canvas sizes but would suggest starting small and moving up in size as you get more comfortable with the process and your results. 

You will need: 
  • Blank canvas
  • Photo printed with a laser printer on regular paper (not photo paper)
  • Gel medium
  • Water spray bottle
  • Foam paint brush
If you aren't a fan of mess, then you should probably cover your work space with a garbage bag (as Ilene suggests) or newspaper or wax paper. Then take your canvas and give it a thick coating of gel medium (I got mine at a local art store called Blick). I would say thick but not TOO thick otherwise in my brief experience, I end up with more air bubbles to push out and glue oozing out the sides. 

Make sure you have cut your image down to the size of your canvas (or maybe just a bit smaller on all sides). When you print, maybe SURE you reverse your image if you want it to appear correctly once you've transferred it to canvas. Of course you may not have to depending on your image, but remember this if you have any wording in your picture or it will be obvious what you did! 

Gently place your image photo side down onto the gel on the canvas and then carefully push out all air bubbles and make sure your image is flat on your canvas. 

Let your project dry for 5 hours to overnight. Then the fun begins! 

Fill your spray bottle with water. Spray your canvas until the paper is saturated and give it a few minutes to soak in. Then you want to start gently rubbing the paper off with your fingers. Be especially careful around key elements of your image so that they don't get rubbed off -- such as faces. You will probably have to do this step multiple times until your image is completely paper free. 

When you are satisfied with your image (and lack of paper on it), allow your canvas to dry thoroughly. Give it a final coat of gel medium and voila -- you have a gorgeous photo canvas! 

 This one just so happens to be a mini-canvas and is available in my shop 

Floral Mini Canvas - Image of Deep Bright Purple Daisies - Photo Transfer

Monday, October 07, 2013

Mama Monday

It is Mama Monday which basically means I get to talk about something other than Etsy and crafting and taking photographs, although I very much enjoy talking about all those things. 

This Monday has been a bit chaotic already and we aren't even halfway done with it. My son was all packed and ready to go to an overnight field study to learn about rivers for two nights and 3 days when he decided, he did not actually, after all, want to stay over. So, we left most of his stuff behind and headed to school but late of course because we had to put on our shoes and realize we needed our boots, but then realize his boots were too small but there wasn't really another choice until we can buy some new boots maybe tonight. 

My daughter's day also includes a field study related to apple's, but this one is not overnight. She stressed all day yesterday and all the way to school that she would in fact be the only 5th grader left behind a school today because she had not turned in her form (with both needed signature) on Friday as requested, but was handing it in this morning (bearing in mind of course that we'd already paid)! I'm pretty darn sure she went and all was well. 

Sunday, October 06, 2013

It's Studio Sunday Again

Here's what has been in my studio most recently (as in today and yesterday): 

This is the latest bedroom door sign I've gotten to do. This time for Adam. It is on it's way to California. 

I took one of the leaf photos from yesterday's blog post and played with it, adding a phrase I remember a friend of ours sending to her then boyfriend (now husband) with a note and a leaf... and added it to the shop. Planning to hang it in our golden yellow living room soon. Here's hoping both leaves and love are in the air this autumn.

Next up should be pendants. I got chains to go with them but they are 24" long and that just seems too low to wear with most outfits. Someone tell me if I'm wrong. I'm hoping to return for shorter chains but for now I may just sell the pendants, allowing folks to add to chains they already own or going out and finding ones they love to go with my pendants. 

Hopefully 3rd time is the charm. I've had two attempts so far following a tutorial. First time didn't work well at all but I figured out that I needed to work on wax paper and hadn't been told to cut the photo quite a bit larger than the glass and cut down later. 

Second time was better but I found that the way the tutorial told me to trim the photos didn't turn out as well as I liked. Luckily, I experimented and got one good pendant (Country Door) and figured out to use my matte knife rather than scissors or nail clips for my trimming. Wish me luck. If they work out, a handful of pendants just may show up in the shop this week. 

Ciao for now, 
Mama Zuzi 

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Ode to Autumn

It is a gorgeous autumn day in the NW. Sunshine and 71 degrees. I am busy but still wanted to snap a couple shots that remind me of this time of year. I want to go out in search of a lot of differing colored leaves but for now I found these on our in-need-of-repair back deck:

And then there's Penny, our rescue dog. Something about her Golden Retriever color just always says autumn to me... but especially when she is falling asleep on the deck in the October sunshine. 

Hope you are enjoying a nice fall nap or some time in the outdoors. 

Ciao for now, 
Mama Zuzi 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ready to Ship (FREE) Saturday!

Hey y'all!

I am in a generous mood today - could it be the weather?

Either way, I realize I have several items in my shop that are "ready to ship" and I'm ready to ship them to YOU for FREE!

Just use the coupon code BLOGCOUPON at check out when you purchase any of the following items and you won't have to pay ANY SHIPPING! For my local friends, just use the FRIENDSFAMILY2013 coupon code AND the BLOGCOUPON code too... to get free shipping (you are in Portland right) and 10% off your purchase. This is a limited time offer and only I know how long... so don't wait! Just make sure whatever item in the shop you want says READY TO SHIP!