26 January 2013

Photo Challenges: Week 4

Once again, I was able to combine the two themes into one picture.

The themes were Shadows and Harsh

Even in the harshest times there is hope. For me, that hope is most easily found in a barn.

The picture was taken with my iPhone, so the quality is not as great. I really wish I had thought to throw my camera in the car.

21 January 2013

Photo Challenge: Week 3

52 Weeks Challenge

The kids enjoyed helping me to get this shot. We made finger paint and then made a big mess as we experimented with mixing colors to see what they made together.

Project 52 Challenge
Find the Beauty

I hate, hate, hate the extreme temperatures. (Which really explains why I love living in this state, doesn't it?) Lately we have experienced the coldest temperatures I ever remember living through. Single digits are absolutely not fun for me.

But when Kim told me I needed to grab my camera and get outside immediately, I definitely found something I can appreciate about being so close to 0° Fahrenheit. Talk about frost!

18 January 2013

Photo Challenges: Week 2

We've been busy lately.

Busy with kids, busy with horses, busy with recording songs.

Last week's photography themes were Daily and Love.

I combined them into one shot. Partially because I just love this picture, and partially because coming up with two separate ones that week was a very overwhelming thought.

Yonah loves learning to read just as much as I love teaching him.

08 January 2013

Sketch-A-Day: January 8

I'm really happy with this one, though I forgot to leave space for the head. Doh! But it works for this since I drew a giant.

Arabelle has a bit of a fascination with them, thanks to "Jack and the Beanstalk" and a certain episode of Backyardigans.

This is the first sketch I've named. Parents of young children might recognize the Backyardigans reference. Maybe. It's a bit obscure. Every time I look at the picture I start singing the song, so I figured it was fitting.

No One is Bigger than a Giant
(pencil on regular paper)

07 January 2013

January 7: Sketch-A-Day

I think I am slowly letting go of strictly drawing what I see and beginning to also draw what I imagine.

This is a scene I've seen many times, but not at any point today. It turned out so much better than I was expecting.

(Pencil on regular paper.)

06 January 2013

January Sketch-A-Day Week One

I didn't learn about the Sketch-A-Day group until after midnight on January 1st, so I'm one sketch short. I'll catch it up on the first of February.

I am not being critical of my work.

I know that there is much room for improvement just as I know I will improve with practice. All I am doing right now is getting myself in the habit of drawing again. I am relearning how to let myself go and create.

But I have noticed already that posting my sketches for others to see allows me to look at them more closely. I become more aware of specific areas that I can focus on improving.

Each sketch becomes a little more confident, a little more brave.

This, my first sketch, is an attempt at my dream barn.
(Crayon on construction paper.)

The little boy I babysit was the inspiration and model for this one.
(Pencil with a teeny bit of crayon on regular paper.)

Aravis, before an eager toddler tackled her.
(Pencil on regular paper.)

Returning to horses. Horses used to be the only thing I drew.
(Pencil on regular paper.)

Drawing humans scares me, so this sketch was a huge step for me.
(Pencil on regular paper.)

05 January 2013

2013: Week One

I've joined a couple more photo challenges. These are both once a week for the year.

Taking a picture each day during December was fun, but it was really hard to pull it off. Two pictures a week should give me some breathing room while still challenging me to exercise my photography and really see the world I live in.

Both challenges are in Facebook photography groups, so the pictures I take for them have a different watermark on them. At least for the time being. I'm still trying to decide what I'm wanting to do. It feels weird to use this blog's watermark in photography groups when it's just a personal blog. But it also feels weird to use two different watermarks.

Kim says I'm just too paranoid. Come to think of it, he's probably right.

Moving on.

The first of these challenges is a simple 52 Week Challenge. This week's theme was Light. I re-used a picture you have seen already, because I am in love with it.

The second challenge is Light up Your Life | Project 52. It has an underlying theme throughout the year (Find the Light) as well as an inspiration word/phrase for each week. This week's inspiration was Break the Rule of Thirds.

I chose this picture because the light caught her unshed tear quite nicely. Also, the picture just cracks me up every time I see it. She was completely heartbroken when I wiped the snot off her face.

Of course there were some runners-up.

 The first one was originally going to be my photo of the week. It was discarded because it isn't focused properly, and it accidentally follows the Rule of Thirds. Oops.

The other two just didn't quite have the spark I was looking for.

I'm also part of a Sketch-A-Day group for January. Last month's successful photo project has really inspired me to keep moving forward artistically. As intimidating as photography can be for me, sketches are worse.

There is a very discouraging disconnect between what my mind sees and what my fingers do. I let it psych me out. It's been at least 6 years since I last picked up a pencil to draw anything. So when I heard about the group starting up, I knew what I needed to do.

I'll share the sketches I've made so far tomorrow. This post is long enough as it is.

01 January 2013

Day 31: The End and The Beginning

We'll keep calling her your horse until she is.

I fell in love with horses sometime before I can remember.

Of course, horses were out of the question. Too expensive. Too much work. And so much of the responsibility would have necessarily fallen on the parents' shoulders. Parents who were already working hard just to provide and care for their five children; parents who had crazy medical bills piling on from all the hospital adventures their kids were going through.

I understood this. I didn't like it, but I understood.

I raised rabbits instead. But as much as I love those precious creatures, my heart wasn't really in it. Deep inside I knew it was just an affordable replacement.

I lived out my horsey dreams with my American Girl look-like-me doll and her horse. And when that wasn't enough, my bike became a horse named Toppa. (pronounced toe-pah; I found the name in a book about horses)

Some of my friends had horses, or at least had access to horses. They were happy to share with me. I loved them for it.

But I got used to the idea that horses would never be a real part of my life.

Someday, I would have horses. I would help teenage girls with them, the way I was helped by horses.

Someday, someday, someday . . .

The funny thing about someday is that it never comes. Even as I dreamed and planned, I knew inside that I would be shocked if it actually happened.

But then I was asked to help with Irish and Sally.

And then I met Sugar.

And I started learning that owning a horse is now more manageable than I ever imagined.

It is no longer an elusive dream.

Yesterday, Dad said something to me.

We'll keep calling her your horse until she is.

I do not own a horse. But I will. Soon.