Monday, October 5, 2009

:: Halloween Countdown Begins ::

Did you know there are only 26 days left until Halloween? I know... I can't believe it either!

Ben had originally wanted to be a Whoopie Cushion for Halloween. I found a costume online, but it was really pretty cheesy, and not worth the money. So, this morning I talked to Ben about being a Vampire instead. He was wanting to wear Vampire teeth with his Whoopie Cushion costume anyway, so I thought maybe he would be open to the idea of just being a Vampire, sans Whoopie Cushion. And to my surprise, he was excited about being a Vampire. I mentioned fake blood and a cape, and I am pretty sure that helped make up his mind. Jason and I normally have costumes that match Ben's, so this year we are going to sport some Vampire bites.... sounds fun!

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Halloween?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

:: Oops... I Just Stepped in Some Art! ::

Last night was 'Art Step' in Downtown Bryan. I don't actually know why it's called 'Art Step', since most other cities call the same type of event an 'Art Walk'. Art Walk sounds better to me than Art Step. But hey, what's in a name, right?
My husband has some of his original works hanging in a cafe/gallery for the month of October. Since last night was also his opening, the three of us went to check out the night life and have some fun.
I love walking around downtown. My parents grew up in Bryan and I love seeing all the places they would visit when they were young. There has been a huge downtown revitalization movement, and there are new businesses and attractions that make the area a lot of fun. There's the Carnegie Library my mother and aunt went to when they were kids, the Queen Theater where my parents would go to see movies, and old bank buildings and pharmacies my mom remembers visiting when she was young. I think that's why I like living here. I grew up in San Angelo, where my parents relocated when my dad was working for GTE. Before that we lived in Dallas, so it means a lot to me to be in the community where my parents lived when they were kids, went to school, met and married. Not to mention I still have a ton of family in the area. Here are some photos from last night:

My hubby took this photo. It's one of the buildings that has been remodeled
and now is home to a restaurant and some cool apartment flats.

Busy street corner in downtown.

Some ladies spinning thread. On the other side of them was a
woman working on a weaving loom. It was fascinating to watch.

My hubby's works. Lots of happy fish...

More colorful fishies...

Ben hanging out in front of some of my hubby's abstracts.

The downtown area is beautiful at night.

The Palace Theater. My parents saw 'Rosemary's Baby' here when it was first released. Several years ago, the exterior walls collapsed, so they added a huge outdoor awning and kept it as a theater. My hubby had an art show on the stage during 'Art Step' last year.

My hubby took this. Another remodeled building and an incredible moon.

Just a nice inspirational song playing on the radio on our way home.
We had a great evening.

If you want to check out more of my hubby's works, then take a peek at his website:

I hope all of you are enjoying your weekend!

Friday, October 2, 2009

:: Photography ::

About a year ago, we bought this awesome camera and I just knew I was going to hone my photo-taking skills and turn into this incredible photographer and hang my works in galleries. Okay, so I'm kidding about the gallery part, but I really did think it would be easy to pick up photography. Yeah, I was wrong. VERY wrong.
Here's the thing... I love taking photos of my family. I love capturing natural, real images of the people I love. I have never liked those "studio pictures" where the family sits all nice and still and posed for the camera and then it gets all airbrushed and they add those weird blurry edges. Bleh. Just not my thing. It's not real. It just doesn't seem honest. Plus, it's expensive. So, you will never see family portraits on the walls of my home. Instead, we have framed pictures of candid moments throughout our lives. Real places. Real moments. Tons of memories.
I am also not a big fan of editing my photos. I don't crop or sharpen... I like the photos the way they are. The moment was special enough for me to want to document it, so I don't want to change it.
Thanks to advancements in camera technology, the playing field has really been leveled when it comes to photography. Tricks and techniques that were once available to only professional photographers and studios are now at the hands of every day people. People like me. But here's the deal... taking photos is one thing, but having the eye and skill to see a real opportunity and capture it in the perfect moment takes true talent. I have two friends, one a professional photographer and the other a new stay-at-home-mom, and they both take the most beautiful, inspiring photographs. I can't describe it really, but if you could see their photos, you would know what I mean. They have talent. Amazing, real talent.
I subscribe to a few newsletters from online photography groups that send weekly tips and ideas to my inbox, and I love them. I have learned a lot. So, this weekend, maybe Saturday, I am going to drag my incredible family around our neighborhood and cities and practice taking photos. I have been wanting to do this for a while, but the weather and our busy schedules kept getting in the way. But this weekend should be perfect.

I took this photo last year at the State Fair. October 2008.

I took this photo at the famous Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, NY.
It was actually included in an online travel guide for Buffalo, NY. August 2008.

This was also taken at Forest Lawn. We spent hours there.
It is huge and beautiful and I can't wait to visit again. August 2008.

Forest Lawn Cemetery. August 2008.

I took this at the Dallas Arboretum this past spring. March 2009.