‘Tis the Season for Beautiful Pictures

I love Christmas time. Even before I got into photography I loved taking pictures of everything. From the decorations to the happy faces, to the mess in the living room after unwrapping presents. I think the holiday makes for some great kodak moments. So I’m going to share them with you. This being my first Christmas with my Canon, I definitely had some fun with it.

Lights and decorations:


Lounging around by the tree (with wine most nights):




The trees themselves. One is mine, one is in the front window of my parents house. It’s the fake one though…we have a real one that the presents go under

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My mom’s beautiful table setting:

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Party time:

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Baking cookies

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Unwrapping said presents:

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Ryan wearing a bow in his hair


The mess in the living room after unwrapping presents

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French toast and mimosas for breakfast this morning



I is for…

1) Ice

It’s that time of year where we have to start leaving the house 10 minutes early so we have time to scrape our windshields…unless you’re fortunate enough to park in a garage.


2) Instrument

My parents’ stores these babies. The drum set – my brothers. And the clarinet is mine from middle school. It certainly brought back some memories when I took it out of it’s box!

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The clarinet pictures reminded me that black and white is beautiful…I always seem to forgetĀ about that option. It makes a photo entirely different.

The lack of photos doesn’t correlate with a lack of interest. There were simply just not a lot of creative things to photograph that start with “I”. I have been photographing a lot of Christmassy things though, with all the decorations that have gone up. Winter is actually a very good time of year for pictures. I’ll probably do a whole post with Christmas photos after the holiday passes.

DIY Equalizer and UGI Ball

Lately I’ve really been focusing my energy on exercising and eating right. I just finished Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred which was, in a word, awesome. So I decided to start BodyRock workouts (also known as DailyHiit). I’m doing the Hiitmax challenge which I started today. One thing about these workouts is they use a lot of equipment which they sell on their website for a lot of money. But their website also has a lot of DIY ideas for equipment and I used two of them.

The first one was for the equalizers. These are used for dips, elevated push ups, inverted pull-ups…and probably more things I haven’t seen yet.


(all 1/2″ diameter PVC pipe)
2x 20″ pieces
4x 24″ pieces
8X 7″ pieces
(I did all of this out of two 10′ pieces)

8 end caps
4 T-intersections
4 90 degree elbows
PVC cement
Something to cut PVC with


These materials cost me under $40 and will make two equalizers. They are sold on the website for $119 a piece…can you say overpriced?? yea.

So I started by having my dad cut the pipe for me. šŸ™‚ I’m sure I could have done it myself, but he likesĀ to be the one using his power tools.


Then, it was just a matter of using the cement to put all the pieces together. It came together really easy.I didn’t take pictures because I didn’t want to risk getting cement on my camera.


Lastly – spray paint. Any color you want! (or have). Picture is at the end.

The next thing I did was a UGI ball. These aren’t even for sale on the BodyRock website and the only way to buy them from the UGI website is to buy some entire kit for a stupid amount of money. The materials for this one cost me $20 but it was a bit more difficult than the equalizers.


1 yard vinyl and matching thread
1 zipper
5lb bag of rice
Duct Tape


First of all, there are two different vinyls – the kind I used for this ball which is kind of like a leathery fabric, and the kind I used for the template which is sticker-like material used for decals and such. I really don’t understand why they are both called vinyl.

I used the sticky kind of vinyl to cut out a template (I used my Silhouette Cameo for this but you could probably find another way to make a template…this was pretty damn simple though).


I stuck the template on the green vinyl and cut around it. I repeated this to get 6 eye shapes.



Then comes the tricky part. The tutorial I used said to back stitch them together….I started doing that but it tookĀ forever. So I put it in the sewing machine instead. If the stitches don’t hold…so be it. I’ll fix it. I sewed all the pieces together (inside out) until I had a spherical shape. Then came the zipper. I really can’t explain the zipper in words so I’ll just leave these here.

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I will say I had to sew the zipper on with it open.

Okay so after I figured that part out I flipped it right-side out, wrapped a 5lb bag of rice in some duct tape and stuck it in there with a bunch of fiberfill around it.


Note: this picture was taken before I sewed the zipper on.But I didn’t sew the zipper on with all that stuff in there…I was just testing it all out.

Lastly, I kind of had to hand stitch a little to touch up the top and bottom where all the points join together because of course they didn’t all line up nice and perfect. Hopefully I did a good enough job so the stuff won’t fall out but I’ve only used it once so I won’t know yet.


H is For…

I had to give myself an extra week this time. I’ve been slacking off pretty bad. “I” won’t be any better…it’s probably one of the worst letters in the alphabet to take pictures of. But I’ll try my best I suppose.

1) Hug

Yes I’m using photos from other things for this post.Ā I made the rules, so I can break them.Michelle-11-23-2014-04

2) Happy

My beautiful friend and her beautiful smile. I have to say, I got to do two portrait shoots with friends these last 3 weeks and I loved them both! It was such good practice…gave me a lot of insight into things I still need to work on.


3) Holiday

This one was easy because we had Thanksgiving, and then the Christmas decor went up. It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for most people.


Drinking, talking, pie-making. Pretty much sums it up.




^one of the many beverages I had this evening.


So there it is. Overdue, but I’m glad I took the extra week. Hopefully I can get my momentum back.