Friday, February 28, 2014

Random 5...

with Friday's Finds

I'm 2 timing today! 
I'm playing over at Kim's Cafe and Nancy's a rural journal

I discovered this place Saturday.
Oh it was a dream.

A hidden gem in the valley. Now I want to discover more little nuggets.
 In fact, that's all I want to do anymore, travel, shoot...repeat.

Speaking of travel, I booked my airfare to go see Jamie and my sweet baby boy, Erik in a few weeks. I've been reading up on newborn photo shoots and I'm going to give it a go...

I'm just not going to put any pressure on myself and try to have fun-it sucks when you are a perfectionist at heart. 

I don't eat a lot of potato chips but when I do...

...I go for the doubled, curled up ones! They taste better! 
I swear...they do!

I've been trying to eat healthier. 
It really isn't that hard to do once you put your mind to it. Two major changes I've made is I've learned to like chicken breast so I've been eating that on my salad every night. I switched from my favorite, but very fattening Chipotle Ranch dressing to a honey mustard dressing-YUM! 
It sure adds a lot of zing to the greens.
 Now...I realize that the above random fact on potato chips is hypocritical to this eating healthy fact!
 But I seriously don't eat chips often.

I bought some Mums yesterday. They make me happy.

I'll be inside all weekend, we're finally getting some much needed rain. It's a beautiful thing.
Hope you all have a great weekend.
Happy (finding your gems) snapping!

Kim Klassen dot Com

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Orcutt Ranch 

Oh my, what a beautiful, hidden gem on the West side of the valley that I never knew existed until Austin's girlfriend told me about it. With my phone directions in hand, I headed out Saturday for what turned out to be a photographers dream.

Formally called Rancho Sombra del Roble
This was a vacation & retirement estate of William Orcutt-who discovered fossilized prehistoric animal bones his first year as a mgr. of the Geological, Land & Engineering Depts. for the Union Oil Co. at another ranch in Los Angeles better known as the La Brea Tar Pits.

There were too many obstructions to get the shot I wanted of the big red barn, so after finding this image on Google & asking permission,
has graciously let me use her photo {swoon} that is the back drop of many bridal photos. 

As if the barn wasn't enough to tickle me pink
I stepped out to garden where I was on sensory overload!

See for yourself...

600 year old Oak
An orange grove on one side...

...grapefruit on the other...

...and a world away in between...

My dream butterfly house!

 Interesting little fact about this...

The Native American Swastika symbol meaning "well-being & "good fortune" predates the adoption of this symbol National SocialistWorkers (Nazi) party in the 1920's, can be seen over most doors at the ranch. I was rather taken aback on seeing these as we now associate this symbol for anything BUT what the Native Americans designed it to stand for.

I will leave you with this...

"All the windows of my heart
I open to the day"
John Greenleaf Whittier

Happy(tickle your senses) snapping!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014




kim's "life is good"  texture

Austin's girlfriend, Amanda, suggested I visit Orcutt Ranch if I was looking for a good spot to shoot. 
This place was a little gold mine that I didn't know existed until Saturday. I will be posting photos all week but I chose this one for today's theme over at:
Kim's Cafe
I sat and took in the beauty of this little oasis tucked away. Orange trees on one side of the ranch and grapefruits on the other. The trees were full of fruit and the blossoms were bursting. 
It was the perfect spot to just be

Flowers on our hillside are blooming like crazy
Kim's LISA texture worked perfect-
-be still my heart!

Happy (twofer tuesday) snapping!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

"Hazy Shade of Winter" e-dition

 has a fun little meme once a week. I happen to know & LOVE the Bengle's version of this song.

I took these at a little ranch I discovered yesterday. More pics to come on that. 
But for today, a couple of photos of my interpretations...

It was the perfect way to spend the morning.

Happy( shades of spring) snapping!

Ms. Kitty did come around-it's sort of hit & miss with her lately. She really is cute and when she plays...she's adorable. Thank-you for all your good thoughts on her.
One night at a time.

i-phone photo

Friday, February 21, 2014

Random 5...


T.G.I.F. and how-even though we had Monday off, I'm really glad it's the weekend. 
I'm spending my morning with

I've got tons of randomness going on in my head this week-
now that my cold is gone and I can think clearly.

I'm going to my first photography expo in beautiful Pasadena come April. (ahem Nicki!) I'm really excited. It runs for 4 days but I'm only going for decide which day!

A few weeks ago I was saying how the coyotes are back in the neighborhood. Monday, I walked out to get my paper at 6:15 a.m. and I saw a flash of gray scurry before me. I ran down the driveway, in between our cars, & there in the middle of the road was a coyote. We stared at each other for a few seconds and she trotted on. I bent down to pick up the paper, not taking my eyes of her. She stopped again, looked over her shoulder at me for a few more seconds, then scampered off.  Apparently there are several dens through out the golf course in the community where we live. Our house is one street above the 10th hole and that's where Frankie and I  hear them whooping at night after a kill. I won't go into too much detail, but I have to plug my ears REAL TIGHT and I find a song to sing so I don't hear what's going on. We've warned all our neighbors with small pets to keep them in at night.

So here Ms Kitty's food sits...right where I poured it this morning before I left for work, except at this very moment a skunk is eating it. (apparently skunks love cat food)

Frankie put up 30 signs around the neighborhood last week hoping the owner would see her and call us. I hope she's safe and just nervous to come out. 

My Dad's Dr. has finally said the words that I've dreaded to hear..."late stage Alzheimer's." I'm not ready and that's all I'm going to say about that.

I do want to close on a couple of good notes-
The Vintage Faire is this Sunday and I can't wait to go shopping, hunting or is it
hunting, shopping?

Here are a few new card designs that will soon be available on my

They're designed to be "Technical"
except for the last one.
It's Technical New York

It's technical The Louvre

It's Technical Cadillac

It's technical The Eiffel Tower

Postcards from Paris

Hope you all have a great weekend. 
Happy (TGIF) snapping.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Following my...


I'm very happy to announce that my Etsy store opened on the 15th, I finished stocking it yesterday and I made my first sale last night! 

There's my work...for the world to see...a little scary but definitely exciting. This is only the tip of the iceberg. I've got a lot of ideas that are bubbling up that I will make happen.
 Opening a store is like navigating through a dark tunnel. I've never done anything like this. All I know is that I had to try & sitting around wishing it so wasn't going to make this happen. 
Only I could make it happen. 
I'm following a dream
following my bliss...

I'd love for you to stop in and say hello!

What's your bliss?

Happy(following your heart) snapping

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Random 5...

...Valentine's Friday
that means... 

...I'm playing over at Nancy's today~come on over and play!

Happy Valentine's Day my friends. 

This week flew by even though I have one of those nasty head colds w/that sinus pressure that makes your head feel like it's in a vice & everyone sounds as if they are underwater! I've been living on Alka Seltzer cold medicine and I'm ready to trade in that Alka Seltzer for a big ole hunk of chocolate!

Frankie and I don't celebrate V-day. We are thoughtful, attentive, and do things for each other every day that we don't need a day to "make up" for anything.  We often feel like we have to validate to those who don't understand this concept. Frankie get's the brunt of it and I feel bad for him. 
Do you celebrateValentine's Day? If so how? I'd love to hear.

We've really been enjoying watching the Winter Olympics. I had absolutely no plans to sit and watch it-but I was hooked the first night.

Look at this little man!
 Erik is a month old on Sat. already! I can't wait to go and breath in that fountain of youth again!
(P.S. Jamie took this photo.)

It's a 3 day weekend (happy dance) and the weather has been unseasonably warm. So...with this head cold wrapping up, I want to get some of my unfinished projects done. I love it that it's not dark at 4:30 and there's that little bit of extra daylight to get a few more things done. 
It's only going to get better from here on out.

If you missed my Truffle post and you're reading this early enough, you still might have enough time to make this crazy good candy for dessert tonight...Just sayin'!

Hope your day of love is perfect.
Happy (love is the word) snapping

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


I'm playing over at Kim's Cafe today.
 I drove down to a little local Japanese Garden on Sunday to gets some fresh air and just roam around among the well manicured grass and quiet corners it has to offer. I go about twice a year and this visit was by far the best. I had no idea the Cherry Blossoms would be out this early. 
They always add such candy like color to the landscape.

I spent 6 years in Japan and the Cherry Blossom Festival in Hirosaki was always a favorite day trip. 

I used Kim's Canvas Black Magic here @100%-I also layered a vintage wash, a sweet vintage layer & added a light vignette from Florabella. 
P.S. I LOVE this texture :-)

I do not consider myself a landscape photographer but I wanted to play like I was. 

The gardens do not allow tripods-only monopods and since I don't own a monopod I decided to see how slow I could catch the water hand held...
1/13, f22, ISO 100 18-270 lens @91mm
(I'm rather happy at the results)

Hey Kim...
...You're Canadian geese are having a grand time down here! 
This one's contemplating...stay or fly home!
 hee hee

Happy (what ever you shoot) snapping!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Random 5...


I re-realized as I'm readying the randomness, I'm a bit of an oddball! I don't
I minded as a young teenager-but now? Not so much! 
Take laundry for instance...
 I hate it when my boy's socks are turned inside out. I DO NOT like sticking my hand down in those socks to turn them wrong side in...but then...
...I go one step farther because I hate washing the sock inside out so therefore, have to stick my hand down in 'em.
(This little random tidbit should count as 2!)

I never liked avocados until recently. Now? I eat 1/2 of one every night with my salad. 

I am a teeny tiny bit superstitious. I spit when I see a black cat cross my path. I've just always done it, and if I stop doing it...well...I'd rather not find out so I'll keep spiting!
Speaking of cats-

I look at Ms Kitty here & the song "Somebody to Love" from Queen comes to mind. Most especially the line "Can anybody find me.....somebody to love?" Every morning when she comes to eat and I open the slider, she bolts in the kitchen, meows, has a look around, meows some more and then comes out to eat. It breaks my heart that I'm allergic/asthmatic. Especially now that the coyotes are back for mating season and they roam freely in the neighborhood. We just don't want anything bad to happen to her. She's really quiet sweet when she's not hissing at you. 

I was on Jury Duty this week. I skated by without having to go in. Although it would be fun to sit on a trial. Maybe next year...Oh..I know, I won't spit when I see a cat and see what happens...

(you can't hear her because she's whispering under a blanket!)

I'm playing over at Nancy's today.
Come on and play.

Happy (do you have something odd to share?) snapping!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Chocolate spoken...

As promised, I made those sinful Earl Grey Chocolate Truffles for your to see and get the recipe just in time for Valentine's Day. These are a work in progress for me. I personally don't like truffles rolled in unsweetened cocoa so I play with different combinations of coatings to roll the candy in. I also added a pinch of lavender to steep with the tea bags-I love the hint of flavor and subtle scent with this new addition. Truffle making is messy fun-make sure the room you're working in isn't warm-

I like the shape of the candy from this scoop I use so I don't roll out the truffles the first time but then I do roll and reshape them in the coating. I think they look better.

This is just straight up crushed mini Oreos-
-enough said!

This is sweetened coconut with grated orange rind. I like the brandy & orange combo.

This is crushed 73% cacao super dark chocolate w/almonds from Trader Joe's-I also had a vanilla bean just sitting around so I ground that up with the chocolate.
I'm playing over at Kim Klassen's too and added her "Fall In" texture to this photo above.

This is the one I'm really working on. It's a bit bolder and I want to perfect the flavors
It's chopped bitter sweet chocolate shavings with chili powder.
Austin says he likes the chili after taste which is exactly what I was going for.

So go with your food and see what fun and delicious combos YOU can come up with. 
Here's the recipe as written:

makes about 24/Serve these chilled

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
3 Earl Grey teabags
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
(54% to 60% cacao), chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter,
cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons brandy
1/8 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

Bring cream & sugar just to boil in heavy small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat. Empty tea from bags into cream. Cover and steep 20 minutes. Meanwhile, stir chocolate and butter in small saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Transfer to medium bowl.
Strain cream mixture through fine-mesh strainer (or through several layers of cheesecloth) into chocolate mixture; stir to blend. Stir in brandy and salt. Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Cover and chill until firm, about 4 hours.
Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or waxed paper. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of chocolate mixture between palms to form balls. Place on prepared sheet. Chill until firm, about 1 hour. Roll truffles between palms again. Place cocoa powder in small bowl. Roll truffles in cocoa powder; return to same sheet. Cover and chill.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead, keep chilled.

If you have any questions please e-mail me. If you make these, I'd love to hear about it too!

Happy (sweet endings) snapping!