Archive for the 'photos' Category

Jul 19 2009

Oregon Coast

Published by under iphone,kids,moblogging,photos

Taken by Ethan.

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Jul 06 2009

Week 7, Vacation, 4th of July, Life in the Wild

I haven’t been slacking. On the Weight Watchers thing. I HAVE been slacking on posting about it though. Usually, when I slack on posting about it, it’s because I’m slacking on DOING it. But not this time!

Despite my “We Might Be Fucked” cocktail and probably BECAUSE of my subsequent throat soreness, that had me drinking ginger ale+OJ and eating toast for a day or so, I am proud to announce week 7’s weigh in was awesome at -3.8 lbs. This brings me up to a total of -13.4 lbs. Many more to go, but I am pretty happy. I can do this! Knock on wood!

I think it’s about time to start up the 30 day shred again as well. My foot, on hearing that I paid $350 for an orthotic, decided, “Oh, now that’s she’s paid for it, I’ll get better before it arrives!” It’s not totally better, but it’s a LOT better than it was 2 weeks ago, I’ll say that!

We are still waiting to hear how fucked we are by Subaru for the ceased-up engine block. James and I like to spend our quiet intimate moments wondering how exactly that damn thing DID that anyway, and discussing different engine rebuild price quotes. Oh yeah. Pillow talk, baby. We’re so romantic.

We are at T-minus 9 days til we leave on our vacation to Oregon. I still need to find a cat sitter. I’m a little worried about our cat, actually. We went up to New York last September for a long weekend, not long enough to get a real sitter, just put out plenty of bowls of food and water, but long enough for her to go a little crazy from lack of human interaction — she’s an old cat, at I think 11 years, and when we got back she changed her sleeping habits entirely. She used to settled down somewhere near our feet on our bed. Now, she prefers to be closer to us. Like, right on top of our heads. Seriously. I have to allot pillow space for her because after she gets it through her head that she can’t sleep ON TOP OF MINE, she sleeps right NEXT to my head. Or face. Also, when it starts to get light out, she decides to try the whole “Hmm, maybe she’ll let me sleep on her head NOW…” She loves us, what can I say? So I’m a little worried that our trip may bring on some more wacky separation anxiety cat-behavior. Note to self: trim claws before leaving so carpets don’t get even MORE shredded.

We’ve been crazy with the wildlife lately. Or at least I have. About a month ago, the neighborhood kids found a turtle near someone’s driveway and “took care of it” nearly to death before parents swooped in and relocated it back to nature. I’m a little stymied on how the little guy got there in the first place.

Then the next week, one of the baby birds nexting near our roofline fell out of the nest and hung out along the side of our house. I did much googling and determined that it was fine – fledglings often do this, and if you can’t return it to the next itself, then under a nearby bush would suffice. It was hanging out under my truck, so I kind of herded it back to our deck, closer to where the nest was. The next morning it was gone, so I’m sure the little guy found his wings quickly. (sidenote: our house is now bird free and will soon be bird-proof. Yay, and KA-CHING! more money gone.)

Last week, I had picked up Jocelyn and was on my way to get Ethan and then home, when I had to swerve quickly to avoid hitting a slow moving little turtle in the road, right in line with the tires. I yelped, explained to Jocelyn, and then quickly tried to flip a bitch to get back there and save him. It was a very busy street, and I had little hope to get to him in time, especially as I watched all the traffic behind me as I desperately tried to flip around.. And sure enough, when I finally got back to him, he hadn’t made it. :( That little guy haunted me the rest of the week, I felt so bad. Jocelyn too.. sometimes, she will say, out of the blue, “Poor little turtle..” to me. All I can do is nod and agree.

The sting of that little guy was taken away somewhat when we were driving along our road to our house and spotted TWO rabbits, just hanging out in someone’s yard. I am pretty sure I’ve seen one of these guys before, bounding away as I have driven by, but I couldn’t be sure and so I was very tickled to stop and watch them a while. They just stood nibbling some of the young weeds, checking us out as much as we were checking them out only about 8 feet away, and didn’t make any sort of fuss when Ethan and Jocelyn nearly threw themselves out their open windows looking and talking and trying to take pictures with my iphone. We finally drove on with them still sitting there eating their dinner.

And then last night as we came home from a lovely pool party at a friend’s house, I thought I saw a bit of brown on the steep hilly exit we were on, and pulled over. We saw a whole handful of deer bound away into the treeline, with a few stopping just shy of the trees to look back at us.

I just love it when we get a chance to see wildlife up close. I think they are probably less than thrilled to see us up close.

Oh right. 4th of July. We decided at the last minute to go to Great Meadows, which we went to last year. We got there around 4pm, saw all the pre-fireworks shows. Helicopter parades, RC airplanes (BIG suckers, with 5-6ft wingspans), rocket launches, ponies, melons shot out of a cannon, face painting, and of course fireworks. Ethan slept through the fireworks last year, but everyone was awake for them this year, and after they were over, Ethan stood up and hollered, “THAT WAS THE BEST FIREWORKS SHOW, EEEVERRRR!” — to the amusement of many people surrounding us.

Sunday, we went to a hawaiian pool party celebrating some friends’ who had recently been married in Hawaii. It’s been a while since we’d seen them, and it was very nice to sit and relax and catch up. The weather was not very cooperative (only about 75degrees) but that didn’t stop the kids from hopping in and slowly turning blue. It’s pretty comical to ask, “Are you cold?” and to get a chattering of teeth back, “No-o-o-o-o-o..”

All in all, a wonderful weekend. Wish it didn’t have to end.

-amy

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Jul 02 2009

Medicating Legally.

Published by under amy's head,daily,house,marriage,photos

This is a bitch session, so let’s just go at it, shall we? Basically, we are bleeding money around the Sanders-Pancoast household. Gushing. Dare I say soon to be HEMMORAGHING.

  1. Foot. My joint in my toe, which I mentioned once before, is inflamed with arthritis. It has gone back and forth between improving and getting worse for the last month, so the doctor suggested we get an orthotic to go in my shoe, that would relieve any pressure on that joint and allow it to heal.

    My insurance doesn’t cover this orthotic. It is not cheap.

    Damn insurance.

  2. Next up! The AC on our main level stopped with the making of nice and chilly. One hour visit later, and there goes two car payments.
  3. Next up! Last week, James’ 2006 Subaru Impreza STI died on his way to 5 Guys. A tow to our auto shop and TWO DAYS OF THEM LOOKING AT IT confirmed our worst fears that it was the engine, which would probably have to be rebuilt.

    So, obviously, it’s still under warranty, it only has 55k miles on it and is only 3 years old. Subaru to the rescue, right?

    So then we had it towed to Subaru, who are now saying scary things like, “we must have all maintenance records/this air filter looks like it has never been changed” in order to determine if they will cover it under warranty.

    First of all, we bought it used, so we don’t even have all the records, and second of all, James has done some oil changes himself. They could feasible put up a major stink.

    If they do not cover it under warrantee, an engine rebuild could run around 3 mortgage payments. Oh, and if the turbo is shot as well, that’s another month’s worth of daycare right there.

    Also? That first tow? To our shop? Turns out, we only had roadside assistance for MY car, but not for HIS car. So that was some $$$ right there. (I immediately remedied that situation, so the next tow was partially covered and much less painful.)

  4. Oh and lucky us, we have birds nesting in our roofline, in two different places. I fear some of them have gotten into the attic. This has actually been going on for a while, but I’m just now getting around to getting someone to take care of it. Which I’m sure is going to cost some bucks. Urgh.
  5. And finally? We’re going on vacation to Oregon in 2 weeks. Many things are already paid for (like the airplane tickets, for example) but many other things are not. Right before you go on vacation is never a good time to tighten up the purse-strings.

So… Last night, all of this was kind of weighing on James and I. The car stuff especially. If it weren’t for some good friends loaning us the use of their 3rd car, we’d be totally screwed, transportation wise. And if we have to pay for an engine rebuild ourselves? Makes you want to cry.

“Kids,” we called out, “how do you feel about going out and getting a job?”

They weren’t too ecstatic about the idea. We let them know college might not be in the cards after mommy and daddy paid for all this crap.

After moaning a lot and uncurling myself up from the fetal position, I remembered Heather, from dooce.com, when she and Jon had to face the massive bill for replacing their entire sewer line. She concocted, and I quote, the Oh My God Our Plumbing’s Fucked Cookie.

Well, last night, I concocted the Oh My God Our Car (Might Be) Fucked Cocktail.

First, some ice in a very very big glass. Big. Very big. Let’s go skimpy on the ice, shall we?

Then some vodka.

That doesn’t look like enough. MORE VODKA.

OK. That should make my liver stand up and take notice. Now a little kahlua.

And finally, we top it off with milk.

Hmm. It needs something. Something spectacular. I mean, this is a spectacular amount of money we’re hemmoraghing around here.

Ahh, much better. Hot pink BENDY STRAW!!

And there it is. The “We Might Be Fucked” cocktail.

If it turns out, we’re not fucked? I’ll make a “Yay, We’re Not Fucked!” version.

-amy, who just KNOWS her sister is going to read this and cringe every time she sees the f word. Sorry, Ellen.
-amy isn’t even going to THINK about the possibility of her dad reading this. The one who’s worst curse is, “Oh, SCRUD.”

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Jun 19 2009

(belated) report from my silver soldering class

Published by under amy's head,crafty,daily,jewelry,photos

I never did follow up and post how my soldering class went. It went awesome!

Here is a photo I took with my phone halfway through the class. The bracelet is only half done, I just draped it over my wrist.

halfway soldered square link bracelet

Here are is a picture I took after I got home. I plopped everything I came home with (finished and unfinished alike) into my light box and took some shots with the Canon 30D.

products from soldering class

You can see 2 square links that have not been soldered, one that was soldered, but I didn’t need, a few little bitty clasps I made, and some balled headpins — which I strung a pretty lucite bead on to show how I plan on using them. And then of course, the bracelet I finished in class.

As you can see, when you put the torch to silver, it oxidizes the metal. The oxidation is the black and goldish colors you see in the torched pieces. In order to remove the oxidation, when you’re finished, you place it in the “pickle” a solution that removes a very fine layer of metal, including the oxidation. The finished bracelet went into the pickle at the end of class, thus it’s nice and shiny. It had not yet been tumbled, so the silver is still a kind of matte finish rather than a shiny finish. I have a tumbler at home, so I didn’t worry about tumbling it in class.

And here is my finished bracelet.

MOD sterling silver bracelet. soldered square links with chainmaille inserts

When I got home, I added (unsoldered) chainmaille pieces inside each of the square (soldered) links. I absolutely adore it – The organic asymmetrical-ness of the squares makes it looks kind of retro to me. Very mod. I am going to make another one with a little less hammering of the squares…. once I can find a square mandrel to use!! I’ve just been keeping my eyes peeled for anything but I may have to ramp up efforts, head to a hardware store and actually actively look for something.

My pyromaniac sale is over, and I sold 2 items, which in my book, is a SUCCESS! I received my torch and soldering supplies, and let me tell you – it is FUN! I’m hoping to finish some earrings this weekend to list.

Also, I may be teaching a chainmaille class August 1st! I am kind of excited! If you are in the northern VA area and are interested, let me know and I’ll keep you up to date! It will be a byzantine class, and participants will be able to finish this bracelet in class:

sterling silver byzantine chain maille bracelet

-amy

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May 14 2009

Posies (Poppies)

Published by under amy's head,photos

I guess I was a little too eager, because the Posies (poppies) on my exit off I66 are back and in full bloom.

I pulled over, sunk my heels into the soft ground, and waded through the dewy wet tall grass to take some pictures.

Posies on Nutley St Exit from I-66 (may 2009)

Posie on Nutley St Exit from I-66 (may 2009)

I can’t tell you how happy they make me.

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May 09 2009

The precocious 7 year old, Mother’s Day, and a Work-In-Progress

Published by under amy's head,daily,kids,photos

Me: Can i see your new birthday spy tool?
Ethan: Sure.
Me: Oh cool, a compass.
Ethan: I know.
Me: Whats this? Oh, a whistle!
Ethan: Yeah i know.
Me: and tweezers.
Ethan: yeah.
Me: …that come off!
Ethan: I have ALREADY established that.

Let me just repeat that last one.

“Already established that.”

!!!

James and I just looked at each other and repeated it about a zillion times the rest of the day.

Seven going on thirteen!

(Here is the afore-mentioned spy tool:)

So birthday-ness was celebrated. This year we did not do any fancy parties. I took cupcakes in to Ethan’s class at school, and he got to choose where to go out to dinner. He choose Chuck E. Cheese, where as soon as he found a fake ID machine, all tokens were unceremoniously fed into said machine. And then, he got Jocelyn and she did the same thing.

Basically, child poses in front of camera, machine takes child’s picture, machine prints picture on 1 of 4 different ID badges. Boy badges were skateboarder, firefighter, policeman, and some other one. Girl badges were rockstar diva, princess, and 2 other ones. (Oh boy what a good memory Mommy has!)

I am not kidding — Ethan posed for about 20 cards. And every single picture of him on the cards is almost the same, except perhaps that he tried his darnedest to look MORE and MORE menacing in each one.

Jocelyn, on the other hand, tried to look more and more cute and adorable in every shot:

Um, yeah, LET’S LOOK AT THAT ONE AGAIN:

I fear the teenage years ahead of us.

Along with the spy multitool, he also received a spy safe (complete with access code and voice saying “ACCESS DENIED” if you get it wrong), a spy scope (can look around corners), a skateboard, legos, and SPORE for the DS. Can you tell that we have a little secret agent spy man on our hands? In his free time? He likes to construct… not a FORT, like we did in MY DAY.. but a secret hideout.

It was a nice birthday.

Mother’s day was very nice too! Jocelyn brought me the toast that Daddy made. Ethan poured the OJ and brought it up himself, and then cleaned my room and made his bed. Ethan’s card had handmade paper flowers, and after seeing them, Jocelyn promptly went and made some of her own. Too sweet! I took Jocelyn to her ballet class, and then we went to Sweetwater Tavern for a Mother’s Day lunch. Very nice. I told James to please, PLEASE not buy me anything, because I have ordered enough in the sterling silver wire and lucite bead department to last several Mother’s days! I got my lucite beads in time for Mother’s Day, and so worked up a few pairs of earrings.

Here’s one pair:

Crimson in Loops. Earrings.

I looooove them — but I’ve actually had a second vision and will be making some adjustments… will work on them this week!

-amy twiddles her fingers waiting for the sterling silver WIRE to arrive!

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Apr 13 2009

New Macro Lens to the RESCUE!

Published by under jewelry,photography,photos

Remember all my swearing and head banging against a wall re: jewelry photography?

wooden acorns

Well, I picked up a new macro lens on craigslist Friday evening.

wooden acorns

Canon EF 50mm f/2.8 macro. I set up my lightbox, lights and started taking some shots.

wooden acorns with macro

I loooooooooooooooooove this macro lens. It is truly, awesome. All my troubles are OVER! Wheeee!

wooden acorns with macro

Look at that! I mean, LOOK AT THAT! You can see the grain of the wood! Like, up close! Awesome!

Needless to say, this has made jewelry photography a SNAP.

sterling silver byzantine bracelet

I mean, damn.

DAMN!

sterling silver byzantine bracelet

This is for sale, by the way. Right here.

Isn’t it pretty?

-amy stops going crazy with frustration.

ps – sneak peak of a new listing coming soon (click to see larger photo):

se_flower_pink2

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Mar 18 2009

Ethan In Flight

Published by under daily,kids,photos

Ethan In Flight

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Dec 18 2008

Letters to Santa

Published by under amy's head,kids,photos

Despite a big DUM DUM moment from me which has in effect, removed any belief in Santa in our eldest (this deserves a whole ‘nother blog post, sometime soon), I managed to get them to write letters, which were then sealed away, stamped, addressed to Santa at the North Pole, and deposited into the mailbox, “With the FLAG UP!” as Jocelyn gleefully pointed out.

Before they were sent off, I did take pictures.

Outside of Ethan’s letter:
Outside of Ethan's Letter to Santa

What can I say, he likes to scare people.

Ethan’s letter to Santa:

Ethan's Letter to Santa

Text:
Dear Santa, I would like a spy kit. From, Ethan

Jocelyn’s letter to Santa

Jocelyn's Letter to Santa

A little trickier to read, so here’s the text:

Dear Santa! I would like a green buzz!!!!!!! I’ve been very good! Jocelyn

(edited to add: She is referring to Buzz Lightyear. None of those 5″ $5 purple ones, either, she wants the $20 12-inch one, that is GREEN.)

I have to say. Ever since James and I spawned offspring, I’ve been secretly waiting for the day I could take pictures of their letters to Santa.

Too cute.

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Oct 19 2008

light box + wire jewelry class =

Published by under crafty,likes & irks,photos

(still working on the “light” in “lightbox”)

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