Thursday, January 1, 2015

365 Day Photo Project/New Years Resolution

     So after a summer of taking lots of pictures.... and several photo shoots..... I hit the school year and all of that came to a screeching halt. Life got busy and I became exhausted. Trying to balance being a mom, wife, and teacher in the midst of a photography career was just too much. I decided I really needed and wanted to take some more photography classes, get more training.... I felt like if I am more confident in my ability to take consistently good pictures I would not be as stressed. 

    I also remembered that this was supposed to be fun. It was supposed to be a journey. I wanted to learn. I wanted to grow. I wanted to take pictures that move people. The other day I was able to take photos of a newborn. It was my first experience with a newborn and she was so sweet! The whole family was just beautiful. I felt that familiar self doubt start to creep back and I about made myself sick worrying about the weather and the light... and really just about anything you can imagine... I worried about it. 

     When I got there it was raining and the light was as bad as light can be but I just started to take pictures and was hoping for a few decent ones. When I got home and started going through them and started to edit.... My jaw dropped.... The baby was gorgeous... we got several that I am very proud of and the ones that I could nit pick on clarity and light hit the mark in composition and warmth of the moment. 

     These parents were in love and it was clear. I have to say.... I remembered why, in the end, taking pictures is important to me. Catching a moment. One of my favorite was of their little boy looking at his sister under the tree. It was just the perfect picture. We had tried so hard to get a picture of him kissing his new baby sister but to me this one was perfect in every way! It was so simple and natural. And just like that I was in love all over again.... I love taking pictures! 

 I could just squeeze him he was so cute! All boy!

So where does that leave me for 2015? I am not sure. I am not ready to give up on photography.... I love it too much! A class right now is out of the question. I just can't afford it. I can't afford the time or the financial cost. I am going to try to take some classes this summer but until then what can I do? I started to think about how I can I push myself to grow as a photographer and I started thinking about a 365 day photo challenge. I had looked at them before and some of the topics were just too crazy and didn't appeal to me. I searched for one again today and I found one I really like that I am going to do. It is the Bethadilly Challenge. I am going to be using my iphone and my Nikon. So here is my New Years Resolution: Complete a 365 day photo challenge..... using both my iphone and my Nikon... trying at least one day a week to shoot in Manual Mode. I had to be realistic that some days I may not be able to get my Nikon out but I want to use it as much as possible.... So here is my first assignment

 January 1st: Resolution  
 and here is my photo:  
I chose a photo of my Nikon to represent my goal of taking 365 photos using my Nikon as much as possible

Happy New Year from Vivian @1squareinch

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Office Chair Makeover

Every year before school starts back I like to spruce my school desk up by covering it with new fabric. My desk/bomb shelter/ intruder shield is an a huge chunk of indestructible metal. It has big drawers and lots of room to organize all of my things. It however is sooooo ugly. So I try to cover it up and give myself a new look each year. Last year it was purple fabric on the bottom and the desk top was covered with grey chevron. The first year I did it was brown and pink polka-dots. This year I tried to just replace the desk top fabric to save money. 

I also had a terrible office chair which sat me to forward every time I sat in it. I hated it. So my friend and next door teacher offered up her office chair. It was super comfy but a little aged. So I started to think what could I do to give it a little life as well. I started looking on pinterest for tutorials on how to cover office chairs. They are out there but nothing to show how to cover a chair like this that has dents. So I decided to just buy fabric and adhesive fabric spray used in basting quilts to cover my chair. I needed a big staple gun so I drove my chair over to my friends house and she had the best idea. She had an old memory foam mattress for a twin bed and she suggested making a cushion from the foam to even out the dents! Genius! So we took the chair apart and got started. Sophie had to help!

After we got the chair taken apart the best we could We cut two squares of the memory foam out of the big mattress and then made closer cuts into the shape of the cushions. We the sprayed the cushion with the adheasive spray and then we sprayed the bottom of the memory foam and placed the foam on the cushion and pressed heavily on the foam to try and seal the foam to the cushion. It is forgiving and can be reajustied if you don't get it on just perfect. There is probably a better more permanent adhesive spray but I was in a hurry to get this project wrapped up.

I used the adhesive spray to spray the fabric a little bit at a time smoothing as I went until the fabric was draped and glued over the cushion The back of the chair had a hard plastic cover that I could not get off so I had to use the long screw driver to push the fabric behind the plastic and then a small pry bar when I was ready to staple it to the piece of wood that is behind the plastic. I would pry the plastic back with the pry bar and then staple with all my strenght and then let the pry bar go. When I would staple I would have to press really hard into the wood to get the staple in. 

I went through the same process with the bottom cushion and did not realize until I was finished with the bottom cushion that there were a couple of screws I could have unscrewed to take the plastic part off the bottom and it would have went so much faster. I am not sure how I missed them. Uhhhhh! Oh well now I know. 

After we wrestled with the chair for a couple of hours we decided the base needed a nice wash so that we didn't put a nice new covered chair on a dirty frame.

The only supplies I needed plus the fabric to cover the chair.
  • Adhesive Spray
  • staples
  • staple gun
  • long flathead screwdriver (to push the fabric behind the back plastic cover)
  • Scissors
  • allen wrench
  • mini pry bar

I think it turned out beautiful and the memory foam really was the saving grace in this project. Love reusing something that would have probably gotten thrown out
to make something new!

So next I cut a piece of fabric to cover the top of the desk and uncovered my sewing machine and went to hemming.

Here is what my first desk was covered in. I painted this 5 dollar lamp shade years ago and decided I would give it a new look to match the new fabric.

 I little black grey and purple paint and its all new.... I think I need some yellow to make it really pop.

I finally got it all together and I am so happy with it... I feel at home sitting here..... It is going to be an awesome year!

And I couldn't resist a picture of my sweet girl ready for her first day of first grade!



Saturday, July 12, 2014

Charleston Pt. 2

Okay... just a few more pictures from my trip to Charleston....

These last two are my favorite of the trip..... These two have their place.... Their place is in Tennessee.... I am lucky that they don't mind visiting the place I love over and over and together we find new reasons to come back....

A Little Bit of Charleston

    If you know me personally... you probably know that I have an undying love for everything that is Charleston, SC. My love for this town seems to grow after each visit. I gave this love a great deal of thought this trip. I tried to look at what it is that really draws me to this town. After thinking about it I realized that I never had that place where I could say this is where I am from.  My husband has that. He is from East Tennessee. He's a real country boy. It is part of what makes him who he is. It is part of his identity. He cherishes his roots and respects and honors the traditions of the Appalachian people. I love him for that. I understand his love of his home.
    As a child I moved schools almost every year until I was a sophomore in high school. I moved towns almost as many times. My dad was in the military and that was just part of the military life. When I come to Charleston I just feel like it is "my place". There are so many parts of the Charleston area that I love from the architecture, the food, the art, and especially the beach. There's a art of me that feels complete when I'm here. So I wanted to share what it is I love. I could have taken lots of good food pictures to share with you but I know that is obnoxious. I could have taken lots of beach pictures by I just didn't want to get me camera sandy so I will just stick to my favorite pictures of historical homes around the French Quarter area of historic Charleston. So here it is.... some of my favorite pictures I took this trip... p.s.  Thank you Soph and Adam for being patient and walking with me as I took all this pictures.... It was hot and you guys were very sweet to hang in there with me!