Friday, April 30, 2010

Thoughts on a Friday night....

Thoughts in my head that I need to get out. Usually, this sort of post gets listed as a 'draft' and just moves further and further down my list of posts as I publish other posts. But my little group of followers is pretty dedicated. So I figured, it's time to be open and honest.

Well, I'll try.

I mean, I don't have much going for me, blog-wise.
I'm not a mother,
I'm not a brilliant photographer,
I don't own my own business,
I'm not an aspiring writer,
and I'm not a devout soul trying to spread the Word.
I'm just me, just Amy.
(not Harry.)
And yet, I have followers.
So, I guess they deserve to get a peek into my mind.

I'll start with something semi-trivial.
I was supposed to write a paper tonight.
I have 4 days to write 4 papers,
but I totally slacked today.
Now I have to make up for it
by writing 2 on either Sunday or Monday.
Luckily, I have 2 shorter papers
that I can easily write on the same day.

because I didn't write at all today,
I've lost my groove.
I've been writing a solid paper a day
since this past Monday.
Breaking my stride really threw me off.
It'll be hard to get back into it tomorrow.

How can I
pretend to be happy
for someone
when I
wholeheartedly disagree
with that person's choices?

The past 19 years with my little brother
have been God-sent.
(Yes, being open in general
includes being open about spirituality.)
This 18-year reprieve has been such a blessing,
and I need to be grateful that we were given this chance.
But these signs, these sudden little symptoms,
they're not cool!
I'm really trying hard to trust.
But I don't want to think about it.
I want to shut my eyes to the possibilities
and just keep him the way he is.

I think that part,
what I just wrote,
was the hardest part for me.
I started this blog for me,
to get to know myself,
and to connect with my inner creativity.
But I have this feeling that
things will happen along the way,
and I'll need to spill my guts
to people other than my boyfriend.

And I already accepted the fact that
this has turned into MY LIFE'S blog,
rather than a simple creative outlet.

Fix It Friday #52


This is the original photo.

This is my color edit.

This is my black & white edit.

I'm torn...
I love how she is really the focus in the color edit
(all by hand, no actions).
But I also love the softness of the Creamy Chocolate B&W action.
Which one do YOU like better?
And, if you want to do your own edits of this photo or see other edits, head on over to iheartfaces.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

YouCapture - Spring, part 1

Beth is giving us a challenge within a challenge!
This week AND next week will focus on spring.


For real. Spring is my favorite season.
I love the new grass, and the sunshine,
and the ants scrambling all over my new peach tree.

Mainly, though, I love the flowers.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

RAW(e) - Red

This week's theme for RAW(e), run by Sami, is red. I had fun with this one! I gathered all of the red items in my dorm room (I have 15 red items, not including the fire alarm on the wall) and spread them out on the floor for a photoshoot. Oh MAN, was it fun!! I arranged them and rearranged them, changed the lighting, changed it again, took some horrible pictures, and took some great pictures. I even had a stack of books for a play on words (red books that I have read... red, read.... get it?).

The photo below, which is completely unedited, is my favorite from my mini-session, and one of the best.

Black and White Wednesday - A Castle

No lie.

the long road

Black and White Wednesday is run by Lisa over at
The Long Road to China.

This genuine castle is the main attraction at Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam, CT. This was the home of William Gillette, who is mainly known for his stage portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the late 1800's and early 1900's. He had his entire retirement home hand-built of steel, fieldstone, and wood. Since the entire estate covers over 180 acres, I was also able to take photos of gorgeous river views and covered bridges, not to mention the photos I took when I got to tour the castle itself. This park was easily one of my favorites, out of the 26 that I visited.

Monday, April 26, 2010

i heart faces Challenge - Smiles

This week's theme over at iheartfaces is smiles! My bro Matty has a great smile, compete with dimples and bright eyes.

Isn't he too cute?! It's no wonder all the girlies in his class at school want to be his girlfriend.

Luckily, he's determined to stay a bachelor!


And this is a good chance for me to ask for some editing tips.

Teeth: Let's be honest, most normal humans (non-celebs)
don't have sparkly white teeth.
When editing your pics,
do you make teeth white or
do you leave them as is?
I tried it, but I didn't like how fake it looked.
I'm stuck!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Color Splash Sunday - Pink


Pink was my favorite color when I was a kid. I mean, pink walls, pink sheets, pink clothes... Yea, I was the definition of a girly-girl. But when I turned 12, I finally decided to repaint my walls. I randomly chose purple, and ever since then, that's been my favorite color, although my walls are yellow now.

When I shed the pink-ness of childhood by choosing purple walls, I unknowingly paved the way for other changes. I gradually gave up the pink clothes and the various pink trinkets, and starting really developing myself as a person, rather than a child. It's been fun getting to know myself.

I experimented making pink color splash photos with several different items. In the end, I chose my calendar blocks that you saw in my orange color splash photo.

This is our last week for color themes! We are going to branch out now by focusing on specific objects. Next week, we'll be doing flowers. I've done some flower photos already, so my advice is to pick one specific flower (whether it's in a garden or in a bouquet or even stuck in a vase all alone). Don't try to take a picture of a group of flowers and splash them all; it will be too busy.

Also, from now on, I'll try to keep the themes updated for the next 3 weeks. This way, you have time to think and prepare. You can always find these upcoming themes by clicking on my CSS page. I don't mind if you use older photos, as long as you don't reuse any photos. Any questions, just comment me!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Photo Story Friday - A Giggling Sneakergirl

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecilyand Pam

"These are my sneakers. There are many like them, but this pair is mine. My sneakers are my best friends. They are my life. My sneakers, without me, are useless. Without my sneakers, I am useless." This Sneakergirl Creed is a play on the Rifleman's Creed. It makes me giggle. Joe Swanson makes me giggle when he barks the Wheelchair Creed. Truly, I don't mean to offend. I want to make you snicker or giggle or even just smirk. What good is a giggling Sneakergirl if no one will giggle with her? What good is any giggle without giggling friends?

Fix It Friday #51


This is the original photo.

This is my color edit,
which I absolutely love.
I am so happy with the end result of my editing.
I think I might be starting to get the hang of this!

This is my black and white edit.
I was going to try for a vintage feel,
because I'm on this vintage kick right now.
But I felt that the slight pink haze looked fine the way it was.

Which one do YOU like better? And, if you want to do your own edits of this photo or see other edits, head on over to iheartfaces.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

YouCapture - Sweet


YouCapture is run by Beth over at I Should be Folding Laundry.

This week's theme is sweet.

M&M's, in and of themselves, are sweet.
My favorite candy.

There's also the means of acquiring this particular bag of M&M's.
We have this coffee shop type place on campus
that has REALLY good coffee and muffins.
On days that I am feeling tired and listless,
I do a 2pm Jazzman's run.
And I buy.

So, one of my coworkers bought this ginormous bag
of M&M's for me as a thank-you when
she was down at the M&M store in the city.
It was so sweet of her.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

RAW(e) - Water

This week's theme for RAW(e) is water... Well, it was WAS puddles, so I went outside in the cold to take pictures of puddles. I didn't like any of them, so I made puddles in the sink. It was fun. I also took some water drop photos, which turned out much cooler than I expected.

Then, Sami changed the theme. Water. That creates more photo ops. So I went back outside and took a closer look at the little things with my dad's macro lens.

Funny how water just clings to flower petals.

I really REALLY wish I could crop this photo, but then it wouldn't be fit for a RAW(e) challenge. So it's completely unedited.

Black and White Wednesday - A Tombstone

the long road
Black and White Wednesday is run by Lisa over at
The Long Road to China.

I'm currently featuring a CT state park theme for my B&WW photos.

This headstone is one of several at Gay City State Park in Hebron, CT. From what I can read of the faded inscription: In memory of Matilda, daughter of Mr. Henry and Mrs. Molly S Sumner, who died April 19th, 1808 in the 7th year of her age. Gay City was a religious community founded by Rev. Henry Sumner in 1796. At the park, I took a lot of shots of this little cemetery, as well as a lovely rock wall that you can see in the background.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

i heart faces Challenge - Collages

I started making collages and storyboards and digiscrap pages about a month or so ago, and I am completely in love with it! I've even started doing it for friends.

So, of course, I am excited about this week's i♥faces challenge. (When am I not excited by a challenge?!) It's collages! I made several this weekend, but I couldn't decide which one to use. In the end, I decided that this one is one of my best, even though it's one of the first ones I made a few weeks ago.

This is collage of pictures from my family's first spring jaunt on the Walkway. I love all of these pictures, and they are all SOOC. I had to rescale the entire collage to fit the size requirement, but I think it still looks okay.

Your thoughts?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ultimate Blog Party 2010 - After Party

What I learned during the UBP'10:
There are countless bloggers named Amy.

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Wow, what a party! Lots of mingling, lots of chatting, lots of tweeting, and lots of new friendships formed. I had a record high in page views and comments (yea, 16 comments on one post is A LOT for me). I also got a new follower, who just happens to be named Amy. Cool, eh?!

I did find several new blogs that I am now following. Here are 3 randoms:

-Faith at Simplicity (no button)

-Amy at Coffee Lovin' Mom


-Laura at Mama's Laundry Talk

If you found me during UBP'10 and aren't following yet, please do! Even if you found me randomly, go ahead and add me to your list. I'm following everyone who is following me, and I visit every blogger who comments on my page. An eye for an eye... only, in a nice way.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Color Splash Sunday - Purple


Today's theme is PURPLE, which happens to be my absolute favorite color, which you might be able to tell by my CSS logo (that I made myself). So, I have countless purple items. I had a ton of fun taking photos of all my purple items and then deciding which one to splash. I chose this little wooden doll that I made when I was ~10 years old. She's cool, right?!

Next week, we'll tackle PINK!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Fix It Friday #50

What?? Today's Saturday?!?! Darn.
Watch me post a Friday meme anyway.

Fix It Friday is run by i♥faces.

This is the original picture.

This is my first edit. I made it lighter, cropped to focus on her face, and fixed up her face a bit. I'm realizing now that I neglected to include her neck and chest when retouching her face.

This is my black and white edit.
I don't think I like it very much.

*I used pse7 for both of these edits.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Photo Story Friday - Carbon Neutral x3!

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Mamarazzi

When I first read about Carbon Neutral, I got excited. I'm not a tree-hugger, per se, but I do like to do whatever I can to help save our beautiful planet from being destroyed.

I conserve energy.
I recycle.
I reuse anything I can.
I keep electronic devices
until they truly don't work anymore,
and then I give them to organizations
that either fix and resell,
or dispose of them properly.
I don't litter.
I walk across campus to work,
rather than driving.

So, reading about being able to neutralize carbon emissions indirectly caused by my blog, gave me another way to pitch in. And it was so easy - all I had to do was add a button to my blog, write up a post about it, and then email the organization who is running this movement. (It's called Carbon Neutral, and I've just linked to it 3 times in this paragraph.) Then, THEY plant a tree for you.

It's so simple; why isn't everyone doing this?!

Because I approve of this, heart and soul, I took it a step further. I have enough time and energy to help out a little more. So, I put up the offer to plant ANOTHER tree for everyone else who joined in.

I planted a peach tree for myself, a lilac bush for Marlis, and a princess holly bush for Cherees (for your princess Sephy). Many thanks to these 2 lovely ladies for taking 5 minutes out of their busy schedules to follow along. (I've also got another lovely lady, Carol, who joined 2 days ago. I'll be planting a tree for you ASAP!)

My offer still stands. If you link up here, then I will plant a tree for you, too. (3 lovely ladies - I've added your links to start.) This Linky will last 365 days, so don't feel pressured. ;) When you link, use the direct link to your Carbon Neutral post.

 4 entries so far... you're next!

  1. Amy
  2. Marlis
  3. Cherees
  4. Carol

    You are next...
    Click here to enter

Thursday, April 15, 2010

YouCapture - Fresh

I am back to YouCapture -yay!- after sadly missing a week.
And Beth (I Should Be Folding Laundry) is back, as well,
only 2 weeks after having a new baby.


This week's theme is FRESH. I have several different ideas of FRESH.

a FRESH new box of crayons, with sharp points and clean wrappers.

FRESH spring flowers, just bought from the grocery store.

Matt being FRESH and covering his face so I couldn't take pictures.

FRESH palm crosses for my grandparents' graves.

I also have have to give a quick shout-out to my older brother.
Today is his birthday! Happy Birthday, Dave!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Inner Monologue

This concept of a 'stream of consciousness' post seems to be a new trend in blogging.

According to Wikipedia (my source for all non-academic research), “[i]n literary criticism, stream of consciousness is a narrative mode that seeks to portray an individual's point of view by giving the written equivalent of the character's thought processes, either in a loose interior monologue, or in connection to his or her actions.” (Since I’m not an English major anymore, this is not academia-related. It’s blog-related.)

The article gives examples of such, one of which is Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. I read that novel in my senior capstone course, Literary Criticism. (How ironic, although we never actually covered stream of consciousness in LitCrit.) We only read 3 novels, but we tore them apart by criticizing them from every angle and every theory. WSS was my favorite of the 3. Antoinette’s (Bertha) stream of consciousness occurs in Part 3 of the novel, as she is describing her destiny (her suicide and the ensuing fire).

I’m surprised that Hamlet is not listed in their long list of ‘notable’ examples. I had to memorize the To Be or Not to Be monologue 3 times throughout the course of my education (enough that by the 3rd time, I just needed a refresher). If that speech is not a stream of consciousness, I don’t know what is.

I repeat the monologue to myself often. It helps to calm me, and keep me focused. It also keeps my brain busy if I am waiting on line or in traffic and start getting fidgety.


That’s enough of that.

If you are participating in my Color Splash Sunday,
or want to but haven’t yet,
check out the list of upcoming themes.
Now that the deluge of color themes is coming to an end,
I’m adding other themes.
Some of them are fairly easy,
while others will be more challenging.
If I can get more interest and more bloggers to link in,
I’ll start offering prizes.

I also added an About Me page up above.
Please go read and let me know what you think.
Too long? Too detailed? I like to write,
so I frequently need to be reined in.

On that note, I’ve been thinking about my NaNoWriMo novel a lot lately. The goal was to write 50,000 words (175 pages) in 30 days. I LOVE to write and I have the words in my head, but I was never motivated enough to sit down and write daily. If I recall, I ended with 25 pages, more or less. My goal is to finish it by the end of June so I can partake in the festivities of NaNoWriMo again in November. I’m really hoping that without school and without traveling for work, I’ll be able to devote more time to writing.

And now it's time for bed. NO, I don't go to bed at 8:30pm. But I had this post drafted last night, and realized that I never posted it. But I am going to bed now. At 11:08pm.

Black and White Wednesday - Show Me Your Guns

the long road

Black and White Wednesday is run by Lisa over at
The Long Road to China.

This is Fort Trumbull State Park in New London, CT. (It's across the bay river from Fort Griswold that I featured last week.) Fort Trumbull, as far as I can tell, has been rebuilt and restored according to documents and plans from the 1800's. As recently as 1990, this park had facilities that were actively used by the US Navy. I didn't get to go inside the fort itself because it's closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, and of course, I went on a Tuesday. But there were also some piers, walking paths, and these ginormous guns. (Cannons?)

When editing, after converting to black and white, I felt like this photo brought me back in time. It had such great potential for a vintage photo. Did I do it justice?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

RAW(e) - Shoes

Ohmigosh, shoes!

Most women have a shoe fetish... For me, it's sneakers. I own SO MANY pairs of sneakers. Way more than is necessary for a girl who spends 6 out of 7 days a week wearing business casual. FYI, sneakers are NOT included in business casual.

But I just can't resist them.

So, when Sami over at Sailor & Company announced that this week's theme for RAW(e) is SHOES, I got excited. Because sneakers TOTALLY count as shoes.

That's the top pair of a STACK of sneakers in my closet.

This photo is completely unedited and untouched. It hasn't even been cropped. It's SO hard not to open up in pse and play with colors/textures, but that's why it's called a "challenge."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Color Splash Sunday - Blue


This week's theme is blue, so I went with this blue towel.

I used the CoffeeShop Denim action for this because I haven't had a chance to try it out yet. I really like that it includes layers for Faded Blue, Classic Blue, and Bright New Blue.

And there is a cute story to this photo, too! My older brother had just gotten out of the shower and was using the towel to flick Matty, which of course turned into a tug of war. I heard the giggling and ran in with the camera to join in the action. I got some great shots of them really going at it. Matt won, but then he didn't know what to do with the towel. I just think the look on his face is so cute!

MckLinky is now simply called Linky Tools! There are some bugs that are still being worked out as they switch things over, so if you can't link up, make sure you leave a link to your own CSS on a comment.