Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year-End Round-Up

I love those shows that you see everywhere at this time of year with the top 10 this or that for 2011.  Well, that's what this is today.  A quick little roundup of 2011.

Top 10 Most Viewed Posts

1.  Indian Corn Centerpiece

2.  Autumn Wreath

3.  Corn Husk Wreath

4.  Jewelry Board

5.  Jute and Pearl Bracelet

6.  DIY Decor Box

7.  Blue and Silver Bracelet

8.  Book Page Wreath

9.  Rag Wreath

10.  Adrianne's Peas-in-a-Pod Necklace (Giveaway)

I also wanted to say a brief thank you to all of you gals who tune in and read my ramblings and leave heartfelt comments and generally support me.  Love you all and have to say that you are the reason that this blogging is so rewarding.  Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

October to December 2011

Wow, we are officially wrapping up 2011.  Doesn't seem possible, does it?  I want to take a second to thank all of my fabulous followers and those of you who have just stumbled by today.  I never would have dreamed that blogging could be so amazingly rewarding.

I am grateful for this supportive, intelligent, compassionate bunch of bloggy gals every single day. Thanks for being so awesome.  Okay, enough mushy stuff - on with the show.


By this time, I had developed a full out love of crocheting.  These bookmarks were a hit and ended up being part of several Christmas gifts.

Crocheted Bookmarks

Mmmm,...some yummy acorn squash rings.  As easy as they are tasty.

Acorn Squash Rings

Another crochet project.  This scarf was a Christmas gift for the girl up the street.

Girls Crocheted Scarf

I wrote a 50,000-word first draft of a novel.

This is one of my favourite (and super easy) bracelets.

Pearl and Jute Bracelet

More food.  This puff pastry tart was so delicious that we had to have it again the next week.

Zucchini-Caramelized Onion Tart
Okay, just one more food.  Carrot soup.  I was especially happy with the presentation on this little baby.

Carrot Soup


I made this felt mitten ornament for the birthday bash giveaway over at One Artsy Mama.

Felt Mitten Ornament

I tried my hand at spool knitting which I now totally love, thanks to Tamara at Etcetorize.

Spool Knitted Scarf

I cannot believe that this is the end of 2011.  Thank you all so much for visiting me and keeping me company over here.  This year has been fabulous and it wouldn't have been that way entirely without you.

I am so looking forward to an even better 2012 with you.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Photo Tips - Children

Some of the tips for taking pictures of children are the same as for pets (sorry for the comparison):  get in close, be patient, get down to their level.  There are other things you can do to get great photos of children.

1.  Get the eyes in focus:

This is so important.  Set up your camera with the centre of the viewfinder on the child's eyes, partially depress the shutter button (to get the camera to focus), then keep the shutter button pressed down halfway and recompose your photo.  Press the button down fully to take the shot.  This should ensure that the eyes are kept in sharp focus.

f/5.3, 1/60, 400ISO

2.  Choose colour carefully:

Make sure that your child stands out in your photos by having his or her clothing contrast with the background.  Keep the background as clean and clutter-free as possible.  You can see in this photo that the background blurs and forces you to focus directly on Tana's face.

Source - Taylor Nicoloff

3.  Catch the movement:

Kids move. A lot.  You can use a faster shutter speed and freeze their movements (or use the children or sports mode on your auto settings).  You can also slow the shutter speed down to get some blurring which is a cool artistic effect like in this photo of 'Hulk Face'.

f/3.5, 1/15, 1600ISO
4.  Make it Fun:

Nothing ruins picture-taking faster than a kid who has had enough.  Try to keep the mood upbeat.  Ask the child to make goofy faces to make it more fun.  Sometimes having the child help with the camera set-up makes it interesting enough for children to stay tuned longer.  I liked this idea from Harry Cutting Photography.  He has the children run at him making them giddy and silly which in turns gives him lively and fun photos.  In this photo, just letting the boys stand on the rock was enough to keep their interest a little longer and made for a kind of neat photo.

f/2.8, 1/200, 200ISO
All Things Photography
Life Through the Lens
Harry Cutting Tutorials

And now, as promised, this is your opportunity to link up your little kiddos and your favourite photos of them.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

July to September 2011

Continuing on with the 2011 recap, hosted by:

So let's get started.


We went to Danny Paille day and saw him hoist the Stanley Cup.  How adorable did this cutie patootie look?!

Danny Paille Day

I made my first crocheted flower bracelet.

Crocheted Flower Bracelet


A little kitchen experimenting -- chicken piccata.

Chicken Piccata

I totally jumped the gun on autumn and made this wreath.

Autumn Wreath


I made my first big crochet project, this market bag, inspired by Kadie from Seven Alive.

Crocheted Market Bag

I tried my hand at canning. These turned out better than I had hoped and were really easy to make.  Never mind how fabulous the kitchen smelled all day.

Italian Spiced Plums

I can't believe how fast the year is flying by.  Thank you so much for following along with me.  Stay tuned for the final recap segment of 2011.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day

Well, this is certainly one of those days when it ultra pays to be Canadian.  It's Boxing Day here which means another day off.  Today I will be slaving over the stove and having family over for dinner.  Love it.  :)

This is the menu:

turkey with bread stuffing
mashed potatoes and gravy
ham with pineapple glaze
asparagus with shallots and pancetta
roasted turnip, celeriac, and carrots
Boirsin-stuffed mushrooms

And dessert:

How cute is this?  We'll also have cookie trays.  Mmmmm,....cookies.

I hope your Boxing Day is fabulous, whether you celebrate or not.  :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011


I hope everyone is having a fabulous Christmas celebration today and enjoying time with family and friends.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday's Motivation - I Love You

Maybe I don't say it enough - I love you guys!



Have a fabulous weekend as usual and a very Merry Christmas.  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Photo Challenge and a Party

Today I want to throw a couple of things at you.  We've got no plan for December so I figured you could handle it.  (exciting announcement near the end,...don't leave too early)

First, it is the second to last week of the Photo Challenge going on at Fabulously Flawed.  The themes for this week are:  Where I sleep, clothing, in my closet, gratitude, and artwork.

Where I sleep - is also where Moe sleeps.  When I come to bed every night, he gets up to let me in, then comes back and settles back into his spot.

f/4.5, 1/5, 1600ISO

Clothing - my favourite Bruins hat (it's been through a lot!)

f/5.3, 1/5, 1600ISO

In my closet - Did you notice that gorgeous Boston Bruins tote that my super thoughtful husband brought back for me the last time he went to Boston.

f/3.8, 1/5, 1600ISO

Gratitude - This is a Willow Tree figurine called "Promise" that my husband gave me.  I am grateful for him and his promise.

f/3.8, 1/4, 1600ISO
Artwork - yeah, I seem to have missed artwork, lol.

If you want to check out the other entries or submit something yourself, head on over:

Second,...this is really exciting,....are you ready? Are you sure?  Okay,...Kadie (of Seven Alive) and I are going to be co-hosting a linky party on Thursdays.  We are incredibly creative and clever gals so we're calling it:

Link It Up Thursday

Uh-huh, you want to be us.  I know.

Here is our button.  Feel free to grab it and post it anytime.  We will be officially starting the party on Thursday, January 5th, ringing in the new year as it were.  I really hope you'll join us.  I believe we are going with a 'the rules are there are no rules' sort of thing, so whatever you've got, we'd love to see it.

and then, she {snapped}
You can enter your link at either of our sites and we will both be doing a handful of features before every new party.  We are so excited.  We hope you can make it.

If you enjoyed this read,...

Consider joining me over at my active blog: Write Create Connect
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