crop happens…

Archive for September, 2011

2011/273: Mother-Daughter Fun (2)

My little photographer taking a picture of….

… a little daisy. (Cropped and edited by me)

She almost looks like she knows what she’s doing! 😉 She was playing with the focusing ring, trying to figure out what it does, since it didn’t make the lens move like the zoom ring.

 And then she got me! Not quite in the frame, but that’s what you call “creative cropping” right? 😉

Then she got a picture of me, taking a picure of….

…. the basketball hoop. (No, it would not have been funny if a basketball had come flying through it at that moment!)

2011/272: Mother-Daughter Fun (1)

At the Plano Balloon Festival a couple of weeks ago, Sara said that she wished she had a better camera than the little point & shoot. She was getting a little frustrated with it because everything was so far away, and when it got too dark, the pictures didn’t turn out well at all.
The following week-end, on a boring Sunday, I asked her if she wanted to go to her school and take some pictures with Melissa’s Nikon D70s (we didn’t tell her, and I just said I needed to borrow her camera. She didn’t want to go anyway).
So off to the school we went, for some FUN! Sara never even complained about the heat!
I switched the camera to Auto mode for her so she could just snap away without having to worry about constantly changing the settings, depending on which way she was facing, and it probably would have been a little too overwhelming for her to remember. And besides, this little outing was more about having fun, than learning something new.

First, I took a picture of her….

….. taking a picture of me

Then a fun little mother-daughter reflection portrait (hers turned out too blurry, unfortunately)

The shadow picture was her idea. While editing, I added the same texture to both.

2011/271: Bonus – The Race

It’s technically cheating, but I’m going to submit this to Scott’s Competition assignment anyway.

This little racetrack (it’s Sara’s) hasn’t seen any action in quite a while, unless collecting dust in a basket on her bookshelf counts 😉
I didn’t want to flake again on Scott’s assignment, and because there weren’t any competitions (that I knew of) around here, I decided it was time to dust off set up the racetrack and pretend there was a race. Pretty sure the orange one is a Mercedes, so of course it won! The Audi fell way behind!

Wouldn’t you know it… Sara saw the picture when I was getting it ready for the blog, and she put the track together and had fun knocking my car off the track with hers (I had fun knocking her car off the track with mine). She even got daddy to get off the couch to race a few laps with her.
So maybe this isn’t cheating after all?

Reminds me of the race track I had as a girl (of course mine was much better quality than this one!). I was probably about Sara’s age, maybe a little older, and I soooo wanted a racetrack for Christmas. My dad had some fun building all kinds of twists and turns, and mounting them on a wooden board, and all I had to do, was put the straight part and one curve together. I remember that Christmas… I had to fight my dad and my uncle for some race time!

2011/271: Plano Balloon Festival, Part 4

Balloon Glow (Part 2)
It was a fun evening… even if the kids were bored. Mostly Melissa, because she refused to have fun. Sara did say she liked it, and she wants to go again next year (me, too!)

This one is my favorite from that day

2011/270: Plano Balloon Festival, Part 3

Balloon Glow (Part 1)
As it got darker – and later – we saw more and more action on the launch field. Baskets being unloaded from vans, trucks, and trailers, and hot air balloons spread out on the ground. Burners were lit, and balloons being filled. It was so fun to watch!
I was sad that the balloon launch had to be cancelled due to the wind, but seeing this made it all worth coming.
There was supposed to be a fireworks show at 9pm, but we didn’t stick around for that.


2011/269: Plano Balloon Festival, Part 2

As I mentioned yesterday, we went to the Plano (TX) Balloon Festival last Saturday. The launch was scheduled for 6pm, but it was a windy day, and things were not looking good.  After we ate dinner, we made our way to the launch field and found a spot to sit and wait…. and wait…. and wait some more. None of the balloons were being set up, and we were beginning to think that this was a waste of time. Of course the kids were bored, just sitting around waiting, and Greg took them back to the vendor area to get some gelato, while I stayed behind so we wouldn’t lose our seats.
Just as they came back, two of the balloons were being spread out on the ground, and filled! Unfortunately they had missed their window for the launch, but at least we still got to see some hot air balloons.

Sara had fun with her camera. Melissa brought hers, too (“because I made her”) but she didn’t take any pictures…. or she did, but deleted them. *sigh* what am I going to do with her?!

Finally starting to get dark…

2011/268: Plano Balloon Festival, Part 1

Last Saturday (September 17, 2011), we went to the Plano Balloon Festival.  We wanted to see the launch at 6pm and the “balloon glow” at 8pm. We left early enough to get dinner at one of the vendors first, and then hopefully find a good spot to see the launch. It was crowded!!! We had been to the festival once before, about five years ago, but I don’t remember there being this many people!
While we were standing in line to get dinner, several skydivers jumped out of a small airplane. (Crazy people! Jumping out of a perfectly good airplane…)

And here you can play a little game of  Where’s Waldo Greg

Oh! Where are the balloons, you ask? You’ll have to come back tomorrow to see them 😉

2011/267: Italian Car Fest, Part 5 – Best In Show

1966 Ferrari Dino 206sp
Wouldn’t mind taking that one for a spin 😉 While I was there, I overheard someone say that this is a $2 million car!

2011/266: Bonus – Freshly Pressed!

Oh my goodness, one of my posts was chosen for WordPress’ Freshly Pressed!!
Seeee???!!!! 😀

I am honored…. Thank you, WordPress! ♥

Wanted to add the following from the WP Support page, for my fellow WP bloggers:

Five Ways to Get Featured on Freshly Pressed

Each weekday, we hand-pick and promote approximately ten new blog posts to the Freshly Pressed section of the homepage. These posts represent how can be used to entertain, enlighten or inspire.

Why should you care about being featured? Well, let’s put it this way: Getting promoted to Freshly Pressed is a major traffic win because receives a high volume of page views. And, we have a feed set up so people can subscribe to Freshly Pressed. Why do we do all this? It’s our way of saying we like you. We really like you.

So, by now you might be wondering how to get featured. It’s all about the content. Let’s look at five guidelines that will increase your chances of landing on the homepage:

1. Write unique content that’s free of bad stuff.

Each post that makes it to Freshly Pressed contains original content created by the user. Bad stuff includes (but isn’t limited to) plagiarism, hate speech, fear-mongering, adult/mature content, copyrighted images that belong to someone else, spam or content that’s primarily advertorial in nature.

If you reference material from other sites, be sure to give credit where credit is due. Use quotation marks or block quotes when quoting others, and include links to any articles you mention.

2. Make posts visually appealing.

Although not every topic can be illustrated, we believe most blog posts can and should have a visual element. We love original photos (the bigger the better!), but if you don’t have any of your own, be sure to properly credit the original source (Zemanta takes care of this for you). Video rocks, too.

It’s also a good idea to keep paragraphs short so that readers won’t feel overwhelmed by huge chunks of text. Breaking up your content with headings is another way to make lengthy posts less daunting.

3. Add relevant tags.

We find new posts by surfing the tag pages. If you don’t use tags, we can’t find you and how sad would that be? Also, don’t use tags that are too obscure (“beauty tips from the ancient world”) but rather more general tags (“beauty,” “history”).

4. Cap off your post with a compelling headline.

Your headline needs to stand out. Avoid swear words, excessive punctuation or vague statements. We love a clever headline, and that’s often the reason we click on your article in the first place.

Good headline: I Won the Lottery And You Didn’t!
Bad headline: U Loserz, i WON!!!!!11!

5. Aim for typo-free content.

We know, we’re human, too — errors happen. We recommend using our proofreading feature before publishing posts. If you’ve got a few typos but we really like your post, we may ask you to fix them first.

So, that’s it! Once you’ve been promoted, you’ll receive an email from us, and you’ll also notice your page views and comments increasing. Enjoy the ride! You deserve it!

2011/266: Mums

Happy First Day of Fall!

2011/265: Italian Car Fest, Part 4 – Fiat 500

Does this not have CUTE written all over it??!!! This was my favorite car at this car show ♥

1961 Fiat 500
Introduced in 1957 as a successor to the Fiat 500 Topolino that had been in production for twenty years, the Fiat 500 Nuova provided basic inexpensive transportation for the Italian masses and also many more parts of the world. Over 3.5 million were produced by 1975, when this body style was discontinued. These rugged, dependable little cars are held in high regard on their homeland of Italy, and are seen frequently on the streets.

Displacement: 500 cc (30
Wheelbase: 71 in.
Transmission: 4 speed non-sync.
Top speed: approx. 60 mph
Horsepower: approx. 17 h.p.
Weight: 992 lbs
Wheels: 12″
Fuel consumption: 50-60 mpg

2011/264: Italian Car Fest, Part 3 – Mini Cooper

Original 1974 Innocenti Mini Cooper 1300 Export
Finished in Blue Scuro and Bianco with period Mille Miglia wheels
2nd owner of car – imported from Switzerland in 2001

The well known iconic British Mini was manufactured from 1959 through 2001. During the years of manufacture, the Mini was built and marketed under different names, including Austin, Morris, British Leyland, and Rover. During a ten year span from 1965 and 1975, the Italian company Innocenti was given rights to the Mini name and designed and manufactured the Mini under the Innocenti name.
The total number of Inno Minis produced is uncertain, but it is estimated that 30,000 of the 1300 models were made. The main production plant was in Milan, and the 1300 Cooper, made from 1973-75, was more stylish and better equipped than previous models. It used a MKIV body shell, with a 1275 cc engine, front wheel drive, and a 4-speed rod change transmission which gave it 71 hp from the factory with top speed around 105 mph. It also had an upgraded interior with reclining seats, and opening quarter light windows. The 1300 model also has the multi gauge dash, as compared to previous and British models with center placed 3 gauge dash pods. All Innocenti Minis were built left hand drive for European markets, with a square number plate recess to fit Italian and most European plates, instead of the long rectangular British type.

2011/263: Hint Of Fall

Not here… this was Michigan in July.

2011/262: So This Is What It Feels Like…

… to be 5’10” (178 cm) tall!

2011/261: Morning Glory

I think that’s what this is? I could be wrong…
Found this lonely little flower in my back yard.

2011/260: Italian Car Fest, Part 2

Ready for more pictures from the Italian Car Fest 2011 in Grapevine, Texas? (Thought so 😉 )

1971 Alfa Romeo Montreal

1969 Alfa Romeo 1750 Spider Veloce

More to come…

2011/259: Italian Car Fest, Part 1

I happened to watch the news at Noon one day and heard about the Italian Car Fest in Grapevine TX on September 10, 2011. It didn’t take much to talk Greg into it, and we didn’t have any other plans yet, so why not, right? We didn’t tell the girls that we were going to a car show, because we didn’t want to listen to the whining all the way there, so I just told them we were going to an “Italian Fest”. They did have some food there (Italian Sausages and meatballs, and they were supposed to have gelato, too, but I think it was just too hot out, because we didn’t see any sign of it).
It would have been nice to have Cameron with us. Not Nick, because every non-American made car is a foreign pos to him. And my dad! He would have loved it! One of my favorite memories of my dad is going to the “100 Years Automobile” Show in Stuttgart, Germany, back in 1986. Just him and me. Must have gotten the car bug (along with the photography bug) from him 😉 He used to work for Daimler Benz in Untertürkheim as an engineer (he designed the rear axle) from 1970 until he passed away in 1992.
Anyway…. the pictures…..

2010 Ferrari 458 Italia

1996 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster

Don’t you wish you could drive one of these home?
(Can you believe I was a little more organized this time and actually know what cars they are?!)

2011/258: In The Rose Garden (2)

Three more beauties from Frances Park in Lansing, Michigan

2011/257: In The Rose Garden (1)

Found these beautiful and willing models at Frances Park in Lansing, Michigan.
(I did promise back in July that I would bore you with these rose pictures 😉 )

2011/256: Teaser

A little teaser for all the car lovers out there. We went to the Italian Car Fest in Grapevine, TX this past Saturday. This little beauty was definitely one of the highlights (and my second favorite car).
I’ll have pictures soon!

2011/255: Good Morning

Coffee. The best start to any morning.
Have a great week!


2011/253: Pretty In Pink (2)

2011/252: Pretty In Pink (1)