Health Announcement


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Today marks one year since I drank a soda.  It was hard at first, not because I was addicted to sodas, but because I like taste and plain water wasn't big on my list.  And then there's just habits.  How I grew up, there was always a Coke or Gingerale in the house to help settle your tummy.  And my international friends have introduced me to some very tasty sodas from their countries too.  Why did I stop?  To force myself to drink more water.  That's it.  I do drink more water than before but now I think I'll concentrate on drinking the required amount.

What's my next health goal?  I'll think on it, do it, and report next year!  LOL  (Don't want to put my foot in my mouth.)  But you know, I cleaned out my refrigerator and freezer before I left to go to Ohio.  Now that it's bare and I'm back, I think it's the perfect time to rethink how it should be restocked....  Baby steps.  Baby steps.

Engagement Session - 6/25/2010


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I have wanted for some time now to capture my brother and his fiance on camera.  The problem has been that they have been many many miles away.  Finally the afternoon before the wedding I was able to get a few photos of them.  Where?  Outside the restaurant where we just ate!  LOL This is my second engagement session.  I had about 15 minutes max. and this is some of what my camera captured:



Crafting for the Big Day...


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As I mentioned in the last post, I was busy crocheting a present for my future SIL.  I failed to mention that I was also busy making a hat for my mom prior to our road trip.

About Mom's hat:
After Mom finally found an outfit that she was satisfied with, she asked for a hat.  She said she didn't want a full-sized hat, but just some form of head covering.  We went to our local independent bridal shop and found a small head piece form.  It was similar in size and shape to a yarmulke.  Between visiting Joann's and Hobby Lobby, I came out with some gold tulle, some gold and ivory edging/ribbon/rope-like material, and ivory and gold flowers.  I've never made a hat like this before, but I just mulled over it in my head awhile, played around with the materials a bit, and finally got started.  My Mom was very pleased with the hat and that's all the response I needed. 

So  here's the hat:
 

About my future SIL's gift:
This past New Year's, my brother's fiance came to visit and lived with me for about a week.  During that time she mentioned if I could make her a pink scarf.  I never forgot that, but you remember all the other projects I was already doing and I never got around to it.  Then winter was over and I decided to make her a pink shawl instead.  I searched online for the pattern I wanted, read over the reviews of people who made this shawl and then got started, ran out of yarn, then got started again.  Prior to blocking, the scarf was 50 inches long and I never made the intended 116 rows.  Good thing I didn't because after blocking this shawl was super long.  I had to "block" this shawl in the hotel using the shower curtain rod.  You do what you must.  The size fits perfectly on her and is able to wrap around like a pashmina.  She was very pleased with her gift and so was her mom.  I think her mom likes pink too.  :-)

Here's the shawl:
 

Preparing for the Big Day...


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This week my family and I traveled to Ohio for my brother's wedding.  We rented a Suburban to house ourselves and all the stuff we brought along.  And it was a lot of stuff.  Presents from people who couldn't attend the wedding, regular clothes in suitcases and then all of those suitbags for the wedding and other church events.  You know my mom packed lots of food and then a neighbor wanted to help us out and she packed lots of more food and gave it to us right before we left. 

We stopped in Virginia to pick up a great aunt and her things, spent the night there and traveled to VA the next day.  Because of so many things going on prior to the wedding, my dad was gracious to drive the first shift to give me a chance to finish crocheting my then future SIL's present.  * Let me back track:  I failed to mention that I began this present with two skeins of yarn purchased in the capital city back in April.  Shortly after beginning my project, the yarn ran out and I was devastated!  I called the LYS and they had 4 skeins left which they graciously mailed that Saturday and the yarn arrived on Monday.  We left on Wednesday so it was a very close call.  I'll have to send that store a thank you note. * So I was crocheting as fast as I could in the car.  By the time we arrived in Maryland, I was finished with the body of the project.  The rest was completed in Ohio since I drove from Maryland to Ohio.  While I wasn't crocheting in the car, I was teaching my aunt to crochet her second stitch - the slip stitch.  I was excited to discover she was learning crochet and had a kit.  Yay!

We finally arrived in Ohio Thursday afternoon.  Thursday afternoon was filled with meeting up with my brother (who had just driven in the day before from Michigan), finding the church, and dining with my future SIL.  And a little crocheting in between.  :-)  With the wedding just around the corner, it was kinda hectic because the wedding party hadn't arrived and trying to figure lots of final details and such.  Almost everybody in the wedding party were coming from different states and arriving to Ohio at different times.  So you can imagine.

On Friday, family and guests and wedding party participants started arriving and finally it felt like the wedding was going to come together.  Our family had brunch with the future in-laws.  It was our first time meeting and it was wonderful!!!  It's nice to meet people and they feel like your family.

Outside of the restaurant, I was able to take some pre-wedding photos of my brother and future SIL.  Gotta make the most out of your time and environment.

That night, we had the wedding rehearsal dinner in the church fellowship hall, then the wedding rehearsal the church.  The wedding director was so organized.  She's been directing weddings for over 30 years and she knew what she was doing.  We rehearsed about 30 minutes.  I think my brother and I were the only ones who hadn't been in a wedding before and I think we were just praying we didnt' "mess up" the next day!  My extra prayer was that I didn't trip going down the aisle in these high heels!  LOL

...stay tuned for more in the next post....

(I know you're shocked not to see more pics, but trust me it was pretty hard to maneuver and I didn't have my tiny camera.  Some pics will come later as they are on my aunt's camera.  More about that to come as well...)

Wedding - June 19, 2010


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This past Saturday, I attended the wedding of one of my co-worker friends. This date, June 19th, marks the anniversary of their first date.  I remember when it was just the groom and I remember when they met.  Earlier this year I had the pleasure of photographing this couple for their newspaper wedding announcement, and now to witness this union take place was like coming full circle.  They are such a fun, easy-going couple and I look forward to being able to photograph them more in the near future.

In the meantime, let's begin with the place that I love best....the food!





Steven and Kim, I wish you all the best!

Wedding - June 5, 2010


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On June 5, 2010, I had the pleasure of attending a wonderful wedding ceremony.  It felt nice to sit in the audience and be a witness to this union.  But after the pastor said, "I introduce to you, Mr. and Mrs. ----", and everyone ooohed and ahhhed, I felt I felt the urge to be behind the lens.

While the real photographers were taking wedding party pictures, the rest of us moseyed down to the first reception which consisted of very light hors d'oeuvres.  I captured as many images as I could for the bride and groom.





After that reception, some of us attended the reception dinner.  It was held in the Nasher Museum of Art.  Très chic!

Below is a slideshow of some of the day and evening's festivities, but I first have to give proper homage to this amazing cake - both in flavor and in design.


And now the slideshow:



Bridal Shower - May 22, 2010


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In May I had the pleasure of attending and photographing a bridal shower. The afternoon was filled with fun and games, loads of laughter, and tasty treats!





 Good Food:

Fun Games:

Laughter and Friends:

1st Day of Summer Vacation: Taking Immediate Action!


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On my first official day of my summer vacation, I decided to begin taking back control over my home.  First stop - the refrigerator.  When I was finished, this is what remained:


I know you're wondering how is it possible to find something to eat in all this nothingness.  I was wondering the same, but as I refused to leave my home today for the first time in a long while, I asked myself, "How does Mom do it?"  She's the queen of taking air and turning it into a hearty meal.  Now it was time to see if I had inherited any of that gene.

I looked at all I had, checked out the pantry, and I realized what I must do.  First, it was going to be a meatless meal unless I ate one of those two remaining sausages.  Nope, meatless it is.  Here is what I devised:

Puerto Rican Beans & Rice:

Cucumbers:


Horchata:

To top off this meal, I aimed to make some tostones (fried plantains), but unfortunately, my plantain wasn't ripe enough.  I could have boiled it in the skin for a few minutes, but I had already peeled it when I realized.  Next time, right?


So, here is the completed meal:



Buen Provecho!

* This was lunch.  Now the question is, what am I going to do for dinner

All of the recipes for these dishes can be found here on my other blog.  Soon enough, there will be just one blog.  hint hint

Preparing to Be a Bridesmaid


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I'm a "no fuss"girl so doing this was fun.  My friend convinced her husband that she needed to go with me since I didn't know the nail tech and they did.  She was able then to get the "Barbie" nails.

What does the food have to do with it?  After these services, we were fed these wonderful Colombian foods.  Yes, we were at the home of the nail tech, who is Colombian, and my friend's husband took the directions on how to prepare these foods while we were getting our nails done.  I think he did a good job and now I have a few more recipes to attempt.  :-)

So what did she serve?  Eggs over easy (it was my first time eating eggs cooked this way), rice cooked with garlic, and a vegetable salad - squash, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, grapes served with a dressing she prepared last.  The dressing was a combination of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and Dijon mustard.  It was so fresh and so good!

All Smiles


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Ever worked on a project that you loved so much that you couldn't wait to give it to the person you made it for?  That's how I felt last night when I finished up a gift for a co-worker friend.  She's been such a great help this year.  One act of kindness deserves another, right?

I really enjoyed working on this bag and was ecstatic when another friend helped me pick out this fabulous fabric on Friday.  (Note the alliteration here - fabulous fabric Friday!)  The body of the bag was really simple and mindless to some degree.  The handles took some thought, as it was a new pattern.  The most tedious work is always the finishing process, which for this bag was the fabric lining.  After I finished the bag, I drew out a fabric pattern to match.  I machine sewed the lining to create a bag the exact shape as the crocheted one, but a tad smaller.  Then I hand-stitched the lining to the inside of the crocheted bag.

The bag was delivered today and she loved it, which of course made me all smiles. I think I'll have to make this bag again, but shorten it some by decreasing the amount of repeated chevron stitches. 




And yes, I used yarn stash.  I only purchased two small skeins of the ecru and variegated cotton yarns.  Did you realize that it's past June 5th and I'm officially off the diet????  I didn't celebrate by running to the nearest yarn store.  I think I may have been fixed.  The self-employed intervention just might have worked.  Hummm....

While I Was Away...


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I've been gone for a while trying to close out the end of another school year.  The kids  have gone home and I have a few more days of work still. 

I've been unrealistically busy...both with work and with the hooks.  I finally finished all the  hats.  In the end I satisfied all but one and I had several hats remaining.  I'm thinking of crocheting her a headband and putting it in the mail.

Out of all the hats, I was not satisfied with this one.  New pattern; too little time to see what the problem was and she wanted this one.  It's a cool pattern and I know it works so I won't be defeated.  My cousin wants a hat from this pattern, so I'll make another go of it after I'm rested.  It's amazing how rest makes patterns all the more clear.  :-)

The kiddies wearing their hats on the last day of school. 

There is so much more to share, but I have some deadlines to meet and I don't want to bore you with too much too soon.  LOL  In the meantime, I'm just going to sip on this fruit smoothie I whipped up just now and catch my breath!

Recipe:
Ingredients:  fresh pineapple, fresh papaya, 1 banana, a couple of fresh frozen strawberries, a little water and orange juice to thin out the smoothie

Directions:  Blend until smooth.

It's Official!


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On today, June 4, 2010 at exactly 4:02 p.m., I became an official registered business. I've been away for a while trying to reorganize, come up with a name that reflects a bit of who I am and what I do. A name that encompasses my love for both photography and the fiber arts. So officially in the books I am -

Artistic Expressions by Elisabeth
inspirations in photography and the fiber arts

I have to thank my friends both face-to-face and through social networking for helping me brainstorm and for "listening" to me hash out all of these ideas. Having a business is something I've wanted since I was in junior high school. I didn't know what kind or how it would happen, but it has. I will continue to be patient and work hard to have the business reflect me to the best of my abilities. Since I'm a work-in-progress it will be safe to assume that my business will be too.   There will be a lot of changes coming forth in terms of my internet presence, but I'll break you in gently.  Baby steps.  Baby steps.  :-)

Having a registered business has been really important to me because I can promote my work in confidence and take part in festivals and shows that require certain "paper" status.

I'm really excited for this new adventure in my life and I look forward to watching it bloom.

Just a Quick Update


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This weekend I managed to finish two more hats for the kids.  I know it seems like I keep saying I only have to do one more, but really, now, I only have to make one more. 





My co-worker that requested the black hat/scarf set, decided to get another set for a friend.  No rush though.  It's such a fall item.

I had a fabulous late afternoon on yesterday.  Details to come, but I will say that in my nearby goings I stumbled upon an up-and-coming independent craft store.  They just started adding fabric now that Wal-Mart is officially out of the business everywhere I know and visit.  They have some yarns.  I wouldn't have to purchase there, but they offer customers the opportunity to make purchases through an abundance of catalogs!  And there's tons more, but you must be patient....

After I came back home yesterday, I checked on the day lilies that I was given earlier this season.  It's been hard here because we've been lacking rain, but lately it's been raining and stormy practically every day.  The lilies are super thankful.  Can you "spot" what I saw?


Then I came inside and finished editing the nearly 100 photos from the bridal shower.  That cd is in the mail as we speak.

That's it for now.  :-)