Friday, December 30

 Just wait until you see how awesome this video is!!! Ba ha ha. Yes, I am proud of my little family and my sister's abilities. Big deal, so what?

We obviously did this during a warmer (but still windy) time...September I think? Best Christmas present on the planet to have it done!!! This is our second family video she's done, and I love the first one still just as much as the day she made it. I know I will love these (and probably cry when the boys have grown) for forever and EVER. I really wish every family could have videos like this of themselves...of just being a family. :) Seriously, book Leah like YESTERDAY, okay? There's nothing like having an idea, and then letting Leah's genius take over and KILL it. Something like this is priceless. I'm so in love!!! Especially because it does an awesome job of documenting our life right now...going to the Superstore ALL THE TIME! Lol. Love that going to miss it when we finally get the guts/nerve to move!
I'm home for a few days working morning and night to make up for some fun downtime at the parents' and the in-laws...and in a few days we are headed to Montana for some more fun! Derick's even waxing the snowboards...too bad all that'll probably do is help me wax out even more. Lol. Punny.  

Wednesday, December 21

Finally I can share Holly's blog! And just in time for Christmas! Ha ha. A lot of work went into this one, and I was so excited to see our ideas come together and actually WORK! Lol. 
Holly is an awesome photographer in the Phoenix area, and she is not only gorgeous herself, along with her photography, but she has four stinking cute kids too! It was seriously fun to work with her and get to know her. I always hate when things come to an end with my "new" friends! Ha ha.
 We used a shape from (none other) than Summit Avenue, and the papers in the flags and her background came from there as well. I LOVE it when photographers buy her stuff for me to work with and tie everything together. It makes things so much easier!
 I'm pretty proud of these "pom poms", and the way the banners come down on the sides....just sayin'.
 Lots of close-ups.
 And this one is just so you can enjoy this cute baby in this bucket in a little stream. Are you kidding me with that cuteness?? Holly also blogged about the new design here. Nicest girl ever.
And speaking of nice girls, I was feeling bad I didn't actually BLOG the last blog I worked on, because it was so fun, and Janice was a serious delight to work with! :) 

So here's a close-up of her new blog...but go check out that one too! I love those suitcases...that's all I really did actually, was the menu and the logo on her blog. And she also blogged about the design here. That makes two nicest girls ever. 
Time to go figure out one last Christmas present...

Tuesday, December 13

Last December if you would have seen me, I probably would have been carrying around a grocery bag full of mittens, white yarn, and a needle! It took me all month off and on to finish this countdown, but it was worth it...I think it turned out great!
It was kind of hard getting enough colors between the dollar store and Wal-Mart, there actually wasn't that many different colors to choose from. I had to use some of our own few-years-old mittens just to add some green to the mix! :)
And yes, it took forever to shove a needle in each mitten and try and stitch a cute, curly number...but the kids love getting their treats out of each mitten every day, and it's cute = worth it. No, they do not get the treats themselves! Yes, it sort of looks like a mitten countdown of danger the way it's hung. There's a peek at our plant shelf too...the vases are from Ikea, the coolest-ever door is from the house my mom and grandpa grew up in. While I do like that little display, I despise plant shelves! I think they are very tacky looking!! And a waste of space...I could have a whole entire bedroom in this big vaulted-ceiling space! Ha ha. 
I swear I took a picture of Van's room all decorated too...I've gotten some cute stuff on clearance at Target the past two years, and it's fun to have a place to decorate with bright, vibrant colors...but I can't for the life of me find it! Guess I'll have to take another one.
 I'm wrapping up a blog design right now with an awesome photographer from Phoenix, and I can't wait to share it! I've also added a few other projects I finished up recently to the design section of the blog...I'm too tired/lazy to blog them. Go check them out though!! I've been lucky to get to work with so many awesome clients so far. 
I did four hours in a row captioning tonight of hockey...I mean, I like hockey, buuut not the minor league so much, and not when it's followed up with an hour of post-game highlights. Yes, my butt is numb. Not complaining though...I love my job!! I just love it more when the Jays and Flames are winning. 
And I can't believe Christmas is next week! I seriously thought I had a whole extra week in there...I'm sure I'm not the only one. It's next Sunday people!! Crazy! Guess my mitten countdown didn't do it's job very well after all. Lol. 

I thought I'd share a few of our Christmas decorations. I bet everyone (except you Jolene...ha ha) is having the same problem as me...trying to mix our older "country" decorations with our newer decorations..whether the newer ones be the more fancy/classic look or a more vintage feel. Isn't it so annoying? 
I like the more vintage stuff, and it actually mostly matches okay with the country stuff, but I did do one or two things to try and tie it all in together. I LOVE these antique christmas ornaments. I picked them up this summer at the antique store in Babb, MT. My Grandpa and Grandma Bennett used to have a ton of ornaments just like these...of course they were all tossed. Yep. TOSSED. I was in high school when my mom went through their stuff, and kids weren't "allowed" to help. Ha ha...and I pretty much bug my mom about it every chance I get because they just tossed so much stuff!! Tear. 
Aren't the rest of these decorations so fun and cute? They are from Canadian Tire!!! I am in love with these owls! I'm going to hang them as a mobile in Baker's room after Christmas is over. :) Go get some!! The chandelier is from last year though...but the other large emerald ring-looking thingy is there now. I think it's dainty and cute and vintage feeling! 
I feel like the blog's been boring lately. Hopefully this will liven it up. :) I should update the fact that I took the Canon 7D back, and am now on my sister's backup Nikon! :) I need to find a home for my orphan lenses ASAP. The 7D DID have great focus, but it's ISO handling was terrible. My 40D was much better!! Yes, I all ready miss my 40D. Lol! I am keeping my eye out for a used MarkII, and if I don't find one sooner than later, I'll prob bite the bullet and buy one! :)
I made these last them. I need to make more of the baker's twine. They took FOREVER. Maybe I'll make one every year! Lol.
LOVE the two 25s in my house in vintage numbers. Especially love that my pal Jordyn hooked me up with the 2. (I made one to match last year...not as cute. Want it?). Love my Superstore stockings...I have homemade ones that we use...another post for another day I guess. But I LOVE these first I bought four to just "look cute". Now I wish I had one to represent each family member. Anyone want to sell me theirs? ;) There's a lot more cutesy Christmas cards up there now. I feel like a real adult exchanging Christmas cards with people! Lol.
This white reindeer was from the dollar store last year. LOVE HIM. 
Ok so this is one of the things I did with my country stuff. These letters are wooden and used to be painted all country-ish. And I modge podged them with the classified ads, and now I love them! See the perfect red wooden star about three-quarters way up? Our first Chrsitmas was in Pittsburgh. We drove there with only our car and what would fit in it. We slept on an air mattress that was flat every morning. We sat in camping chairs and played Phase 10 on our cooler. We had $70 in our bank account, and we spent it on a tree stand, and the nicest real tree ever, and some Ikea decorations. We didn't give each other presents, but Derick gave me that one wooden star from Target and wrote on the back "Dear Pam, Our First Christmas 2004, Love Derick". Yep, he's the best. 
Below is a TERRIBLE picture of our Merry Christmas frame I bought the first year we were married. So classic and perfect. 
These snowmen are totally my favourite too...I also got them years ago. Aren't they so cute? 
Got all these trees from the dollar store except the bigger one is from Michael's. I would love to eventually have a collection in jars and on cake platters like I first saw Maggie Holmes do. I'll be nice and find the link for you! Check it's super cute!!
And yup...that's my plastic pumpkin I carved this Halloween. Lol. I had the pictures hanging around, and I didn't want to hold onto it until next year, so there you go! :)
A few random facts. 
Derick graduates this Christmas as a teacher. YESSSSSSS!!!!! No more tuition! He's going to sub starting January hopefully. It's going to be hard getting used to having him gone all day. Yes, I'm spoiled, but I work night shifts, so having him gone all day just isn't worth it! :) So here's to hoping he doesn't get called to sub more than a few times a week! Ha ha. I'm excited to be moving to the next part of our lives...I've supported our little fam for nearly eight years now! It will be fun to "graduate" from being students! 
We went to Calgary to my work party over the weekend and I bought new boots and found a shirt I'd been eyeing at Anthro that was even on sale all in less than two hours. That never happens! My first pair of leather boots. Yes, I am excited! Ha ha. 
I got asked to take photos of the kids in my ward with Santa...guess whose kids I DIDN'T get a picture of? Mine. They were deathly afraid of him and wouldn't go near him. Annoying, yes? Then Derick took the kids to a family party on Monday (I was working). I told Derick to convince the kids to at least stand by Santa...knowing that deep down Van wanted to. They again, wouldn't go near Santa. Derick managed to convince them to reach out and take their treat bag from him. (Nice work babe.) They went on a hay ride and did a nativity and ate lots of treats and played with lots of cousins, and on the way home Derick asked Van what his favourite part was, and he said, "getting kind of close to Santa." Lol!! That's the thing with Van, he's deathly afraid of pretty much everything, but he WANTS to be a part of stuff SO BADLY. I'm so happy he was proud of himself!! 
Next I'm going to share the kids' decorations and the mitten countdown I made for them last year. It's so cute!!!

Thursday, December 1

UPDATE!!! Everything is sold!! Thanks everyone!

Yes, I'm breaking up with my first camera, and it makes me sad. Anyone who knows me, knows I get REALLY attached to things. I never understand how people just build and sell, build and sell. I would much rather build and paint, then repaint, redo, and repaint, and then redo some more! Lol. Too bad it's just not that easy.
Anyway, here's the details!! They are priced separately, but I really REALLY want to sell either the body separately, or together with the lens. Basically, I know the lens will be snatched up in no time flat, (they are basically timeless...they don't get replaced by newer models every year like cameras are), and I'd rather someone who purchases my camera get a great lens with it, than be stuck with a kit lens, so I won't entertain any separate offers for the lens for at least a few weeks. But if someone wants just the body because they all ready have a lens they are happy with, then the lens will be free to go to a happy home all by its orphan self. Together, they are the most perfect (very eager) beginner set-up, :) It would be $790 for both of them.

I'm selling my Canon 40D camera for $450. The 40D is one level up from the Rebel, and the newest version if it right now is the 60D. The 40D doesn't do video, but that's one of the only differences surprisingly from the newer versions of itself. The ISO capabilities and focusing systems (the only things that REALLY matter in a camera) are extremely similar! So if you're okay with not having video, then let me know! I looked around on Kijiji a lot, and the lowest I saw one for sale was $500, most were up around $650, so I purposely priced it lower at $450, to skip the "make me an offer" stage. It's a good just take it! Lol. And it comes with all the original packaging, battery, battery charger, camera cord, software, and even a well-used ear-marked manual! Lol.
I'll also sell my 2GB SanDisk Extreme III Flash Card for $30 if you'd like. It held over 500 largest-size jpegs, and I rarely filled it up when shooting with it. 
I'm also selling my 50mm f1.4 lens for $330!!! Yippee, right? :) I only found two for sale on Kijiji, one in Edmonton, one in Vancouver. (For $360 and $390). Again, skipping the "offers" stage. I did however find people listing ads who were interested in buying the 50mm f1.4 used, so I'll just list everything on Kijiji in a week or so if everything isn't sold by then. I'd much rather a lovely friend or at least acquaintance of mine own my first baby! Most people don't sell this lens, because most aren't crazy enough to upgrade from it to the 50mm f1.2 L. (I was though.) I can guarantee you the 50mm lens is THE most popular lens on the planet...Nikon or Canon! :) It's a prime lens (it doesn't zoom), so it gives you awesome "blur" in the background, and allows you to shoot MUCH better in low light than most any other lens....ESPECIALLY any kit lenses. If you own a kit lens, sell it, and buy this one, and thank me later. :o)
Oh, and the lens comes with a UV filter. (The 58mm UV Haze MRC which was $34). Basically the filter means that the lens was protected the entire time I owned it...just from stuff in the air getting on it...that way you clean the filter, not the glass on your stays perfect. And if you drop it (and cry), then the filter will probably just break, not your glass in your lens. So you won't really have to cry at all! It also comes with original box, packaging, and manual.
I'm also selling my $5 Million Dollar Crumpler camera bag for $70. (Weirdest name ever, right?) It's in perfect condition...super clean, not a snag or spot on it. It's got so many awesome compartments, and is pretty cute I think!! I may or may not have been tipped by Santa that I'm getting a fancy Epiphanie bag for again, more sad break-ups in my life. I really do love the fits my camera with a lens, plus another lens on the side, all of my cords, my battery charger, my manual, my remote with cords, my camera cord, my cell phone, and there's still places to tuck more stuff in there! And to whoever buys my 40D (for asking price), I'm throwing in the lovely camera strap seen below for free. :) It's super cute and soft on the neck, I just happen to have since found a new one that I'm in love with...and I don't need two!
Oh, and for those who care, I've begun a new love affair with the Canon 7D (a level higher than the 60D). I have hummed and hawed and stewed for the longest time, as I was of course lusting after the 5D Mark II (which is a level higher than the 7D), but it's been out for three years all ready I think, and I just couldn't justify buying it knowing it would probably be replaced within the year. Then I learned more about the much-ignored 7D, and found out that it has a better focusing system than the 5D MarkII. Yes, the 5D still performs better in low light, and overall has a larger sensor, meaning slightly better-quality pictures (which is why I will probably jump at the chance when its replacement comes out!). BUT the 7D has 19 focus points that are ALL CROSS SENSOR!!! (The 40D has one, the 5D MarkII has one. Even the 60D is better with nine. The Rebel T3i has one.) Yeah, that probably means just about nothing to everyone, but for those that do get it, SWEET, right? :) Don't get me wrong, I still THINK the 5D MarkII is probably a better camera, but the 7D is a pretty dang sweet (cheaper) camera that I'm going to love in the meantime.
And for nostalgia's sake, here are two of my very favourite pictures I've taken in the last year with this camera/lens set-up. Tear. Sad face. I have a few others that I can think of that I also love, but they are from past years, and I didn't feel like digging them up from the archives. Yes, when you start becoming obsessed with photography, you start to fall in love with particular pictures, and you can recall your favs on the spot. Prepare yourself. 
And if you're just new to photography, then do NOT get caught up in all this stuff!! When you are just starting out, simply buy the nicest camera you can afford, learn everything about it, and then invest in something higher quality once you've learned the ins and outs of things. The only real difference between the 40D and the rebels is that the new rebel does video. The ISO/focusing stuff is the same. And my 40D is cheaper. :) And don't ask me about Nikon, because I don't know anything about the ENEMY! Lol. Kidding.
Anyway, I hope someone can buy themselves an early Christmas present! And if any family members of mine are reading this, then you get first dibs...but you have to let me know asap! :)