Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Photography Workshop

My life has been spinning like an out of control merry-go-round for the past week beginning with preparations of family coming to visit, Thanksgiving dinner to make for 23 people, and the clean up of our house afterwards.  Somewhere in all of the busyness, I sliced out a day in time, and claimed it all to myself.  

Excited to have a day just to myself, I decided to do something fun and challenging.  I didn't go bungee jumping or rock climbing, I  scheduled the day to attend a photography workshop!

This is how it went....

The workshop was designed to teach all aspects of photography including equipment, shooting, and post processing as a business.  We were taught from a great photographer, Brooke, who values the importance of teaching others.

One of the most fun parts of the day was the photo shoot with a model!
Karen did a great job working with all of us photographers, I couldn't imagine having 10 cameras in my face!

The location we were at is a favorite for many photographers as there are so many backgrounds all in one place. 

Ending our shoot with a little fun ~ Karen jumped in those heals like a pro and didn't break an ankle!

This is how I felt after the workshop was over!
[happy sigh]

Monday, November 21, 2011

Catching Autumn

Catching the last bit of the Fall.

This is how it went....

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tackling Tarnished Silver

I don't know what got in me today, I decided to pull everything out of my pantry, clean the shelves, and reorganize everything so that it looked nice and neat.  For who?  I guess it's really just for me because I'm sure my kids will never notice the boxes of cereal are organized by color and size and I doubt my husband will notice the soup cans are alphabetized either!  

After the pantry was done, I hadn't tortured myself enough, I thought it would be a great idea to pull out all of my serving dishes, silverware and our infamous turkey platter.  Everything was there in its place just as I had put it last year and ready to go for this year's festivities, except the silverware.  Every fork, knife and spoon were tarnished, including my coveted gravy boat!  

I sat down on the floor to observe the immense job I had ahead of me and decided that I would rather scratch my nails on a chalkboard than polish each piece!  I really didn't have 8 hours left to my day to put toward polishing.

So what's a girl to do with little time and a lingering job of rubbing silverware all day?  I went to the internet for help.  Boy did I find it!  

I went with the first remedy I found and used aluminum foil, salt and baking soda to remove the tarnish.  "This better work" was my mantra.

This is how it went.... 

On the internet, it was suggested to use a glass pan and line it with aluminum foil.  In my mind, why not use an aluminum pan?  

So that's what I did.

I don't always follow the rules.

On the internet it was suggested to use 4 cups of warm water, 2 Tbsps of baking soda and 2 Tbsps of salt.

I think that depends on the size of pan you are using.

I doubled and tripled and even quadrupled all of the ingredients.

This cute little foot belongs to my sugar and creamer set.  It's almost black with tarnish - yuk.

Once all of the ingredients are added, stir and place the tarnished item in the water.  The immediate smell of a rotten-egg will emit from the reaction of the tarnish to the salt and baking soda.  

Clothespins may be necessary for those with strong noses.

Or, you get used to the smell. 

As you can see in the picture above, the lid is under water in the solution and the tip is sticking out of the water.  The mixture is working, egg smell or not, I was so happy it was working and I wasn't standing there applying polish.

I was nearly jumping up and down watching the tarnish disappear.  I decided to get more pans ready so that I could get the job done faster.  

I noticed that somewhere in the process, the mixture stopped working.

I'm not a scientist, but from my observation it seemed that when the water cooled or maybe when the salt and baking soda sat together for too long it quit working.  

Luckily it's an easy solve.

Dump the water out and start over.

Worked like a charm.

With heavily tarnished pieces like this pie server, let it soak for 10 minutes in a fresh batch of the mixture, if the piece still has tarnish, take it out of the water and sprinkle a tablespoon of baking soda on it and rub with a soft cloth until it makes a dry paste. The tarnish comes off easily within seconds.

The pie server turned out great.

The intricate pieces with details and crevices took longer and I had to use the extra baking soda, but they turned out great!


Once I found the ease of using warm water, an aluminum pan, salt and baking soda, I will NEVER use polish again; polishing cloth maybe.

I did go crazy putting every piece of silver or silver plated items I have in the mixture, but I'm done and everything has a glorious shine rather than a dull black hue.

Happy polishing.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pepe Le Pew

A lot of bloggers post pictures without words on Wednesdays.

They call it Wordless Wednesday.

Manchez, a ranch dog around here, is the subject of Wordless Wednesday today.  

I tried to post the pictures without words too, but I'm rarely without words, so you get a few.  

Manchez, is a suave bilingual dog who is always in search of friendship from other dogs, especially females.  He was in search of something today.

He reminded me of Pepe Le Pew, the skunk, looking for his love Penelope the kitty-cat.  

"Have you seen my love?"

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fall Photo Shoot

Have you ever been proud of an accomplishment and want to share it with the world?

I feel that way today.

I planned a mini photo shoot with my girls to build upon the pictures on my wall and my photography portfolio, I think they turned out beautiful, but then again they are my kids.  Every picture I take of them I love, that's just me ~ mom.

This is how it went....

No Words....
Just my beautiful girls.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Harvesting Dead Corn

The corn we grew this season didn't do as well as we expected, but we have used every single piece to the fullest.

This is how it went....

We ate what we could.
We shared with others.
Then we were done with it, or so we thought.

 One day, when I was day dreaming about what we could do with the dead left-over corn, a bright idea came to me! I thought it would look pretty cool to bundle up an armload of the dead stalks and use as Fall decorations around the ranch.

So that's what we did. I tried but it's pretty hard to cut and gather so I asked the cowboys to create the bundles for me and hang the bundles around the ranch.  We now have bundles and bundles on every pole, pillar and gate entrance we own. I went a little overboard but it looks really festive!

Here's one of the light poles that has been decorated with a Fall bundle.

Now that I have put a corn stalk bundle on everything, we decided it was time to allow the cows to have Thanksgiving in the corn fields!

 Before the cows mowed the fields I decided to take Sophia out to take a closer look at dead corn.  

 I told her to open the corn leaves and see what was in there.

 As she peeled back each leaf, she was pleasantly surprised to see a Lady Bug inside, so that made the experience a happy one for her.

 She tried for a while to catch the Lady Bug, but it was too quick for her.

 I tried to explain why we didn't eat this piece of corn.
I probably shouldn't have, because now she probably won't want to eat corn again!

The cows are really happy eating all of that corn and I'm happy it's not going to waste.

[I love this cow, isn't she interestingly beautiful!]

Happy Thanksgiving to the cows!

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