just a quickie: cyber monday sale!

just thought i'd share a juicy little piece of sale gossip... today i'm having a cyber monday sale in my etsy shop! use the coupon code IKEEPITNOW during checkout to receive 20% off of your order! so buy something for yourself, or buy something as a gift, but remember that the sale only lasts until i go to bed tonight!

and i feel i need to clarify. if you're wondering how i came up with the coupon code "i keep it now" i will explain. years ago on saturday night live, there was a character named mrs. delvecchio. i've seen so many blog posts lately talking about snow (and i'm incredibly jealous) and it made me think of a skit where mrs. delvecchio and her neighbor (played by christopher walken) were talking about the snow blower he bought and was using. anyway, mrs. delvecchio's famous line was "i keep it now." sort of a weird thought pattern, but there you have it!

i'm ready for snow.

earlier this year we had one of the biggest snow storms i've ever seen in virginia, and while everyone else hated it, i hoped the 2 or more feet of snow would never melt! it's definitely not cold enough for snow yet, although it's no longer warm, but i'm hoping we'll see a repeat of last winter! when it does get cold, whether we have a blizzard or not, i'm ready for it with this super cozy wrap/scarf...

kyla from kove and i did a trade recently, and this wrap is what she made from me. i've looked at cowls before on etsy, but i've always been hesitant to buy one because i never knew if the yarn would be soft and cozy or scratchy and irritating. i'm happy to say that the wool/acrylic blend that kyla uses is so comfortable it'll make you feel like you're wrapped in a cloud. i'd even like an entire bedspread crocheted from this yarn! i wanted to show you a picture of what it looks like on, but i haven't gotten out of my pajamas today, and if i'm being completely honest, i probably won't.

unfortunately i had to work on black friday and miss out on the shopping craziness (which i would never attempt on my own, but love when i go with someone else), and i had to hold off on doing a few other things around the house until saturday. something i couldn't WAIT to do was decorate my "christmas tree." the tree i decorated isn't actually a christmas tree at all, but some sort of indoor evergreen that my grandma gave me recently. i figured since it's in my living room anyway, i should decorate it instead of pulling out my little artificial tree. so, i give you the before (with a glass bird the i keep in it), and the after...

the ornaments i use are a combination of antique glass ornaments that my great grandma gave me when i got married, and some antique glass and glitter ornaments that i got for $2 at a thrift store the other year. have you put your tree up yet? do you have a style or theme when decorating your tree? have any pictures of it?

ode to something gross.

i wasn't sure what exactly i'd do for a blog post today, but i did want to say happy thanksgiving to my american friends, and happy thursday with food to anyone else who plans to eat today, so i took inspiration from carla. here's my simple poem dedicated to something i don't eat on thanksgiving (or pretty much any time, for that matter).

while i'm eating my thanksgiving feast,
i'm avoiding the food i like the least.

well, i don't hate it as much as i do beans,
but i certainly don't go crazy like the rest of the fiends.

it's on cakes, it's on pies, it's on donuts, too,
but as far as i'm concerned, it makes things taste like poo.

i think it's at its worst in ice cream form,
and i do realize my tastes may be different than the norm.

it sticks in your teeth and melts in your hands,
and i'll never understand how it's gained so many fans.

it's dark, it's white, and sometimes it's fudge-y,
i'll just eat french fries to make myself pudgy.

have you guessed what it is that i hate to eat?
it's chocolate, the dark and disgusting treat!

okay, so in the spirit of honesty, i'll admit that i do like ghirardelli chocolate covered blueberries, but i think it's because you can't taste the chocolate so much. what are your favorite and least favorite foods at thanksgiving?

i just like to smile. smiling's my favorite.

do you know which movie that quote came from...without using google? if so, i think we can be bff's. okay, so yesterday was all gloom and doom and i feel bad for being so negative, but today i'm back to the regular danielle! thanks for all of your comments, suggestions, encouragement, etc.; it really means a lot, and i hope you know it!

as if the cosmos could sense my bad mood, i was surprised with some pretty special gifts from people i'm happy and lucky to know. i took a walk yesterday afternoon and got my mail while i was out. i noticed that i had a package from oregon, but since i hadn't purchased anything in the last few days, i had no idea what it was. kjrsten had sent me a 5x7 print of her horse photograph that i love so much and included a sweet little note. i've already got it in a frame, and i can't wait to hang it!

then, when i got to the office this morning and was headed toward my desk, i saw a big gift bag waiting for me. cindy, my co-worker, crocheted me a pretty white afghan with fringe on the edges and left a really sweet, heartfelt note with it. too bad she doesn't work on tuesdays or i would've given her a dangerously powerful bear hug! i couldn't get a picture of it because it's so cloudy and dark this afternoon.

even though i'm an extreme introvert and often times a loner, i can still appreciate the power of friendship, and i'm so happy to have become friends with so many of you through blogging! you guys always keep me smiling, and i'm so glad you take the time to come say hi! i hope you're having a happy tuesday!

on christmas shopping and bad days.

because my blog is my own little place to say anything i want, i'm just going to be in a bad mood, okay?

problem #1 christmas shopping.
first let me say that i LOVE the entire christmas season. i love buying gifts for some people, i love putting lights and decorations on the tree, i love baking cookies (and i'm a self-proclaimed baker hater), i love oldies christmas music, i love the smell of cinnamon and evergreens, i love eating too much, i love waking up early on christmas morning.... so, you can see that i really love the holiday season. but, one big stressful area is christmas shopping for a few people. i finally decided that this year i will not buy buy gifts for those people anymore, and here's why: we are not close, they are not young children, i don't even enjoy shopping for them, and most of all, chris and i have very little money this year. so i thought christmas would be stress-free this year, but chris says i need to buy them gifts. so i'm wondering, when do you stop buying for people you're not close with? is there an age at which you stop (either their age or yours)? WHAT SHOULD I DO???

problem #2 my little camera.
for the last few months i've had nothing but trouble with my little point and shoot camera that i use to take pictures for etsy & my website. i try taking the same pictures over and over and over, at different times of the day, at different places in the house, and i CANNOT get a decent picture no matter how hard i try. my little camera has always served its purpose, and i don't know if its age, 4 whole years, is the problem or if there is something internally wrong, but i can say with absolute certainty that it is not user error. i could just use the big, bulky camera for product pictures, but since i'm photographing small items, i just think such a big camera is overkill. i'm so mad i even broke down and cried like a baby when chris called me just a few minutes ago. it's really starting to bother me, and seriously, how can i expect to run a successful online business when my camera is a crusty dog turd?

problem #3 i don't know.
i don't know exactly what the next problem is, but i'm just in a bad mood and want to have another problem. okay? and if you don't believe the foulness of my mood, take for example the fact that i don't even have a picture. maybe it's because i just want to spite my camera, i don't know, but i love blog posts with pictures, so this just isn't like me! oh yeah, and i lost three followers int he span of a few hours. what did i say???

the end. hopefully tomorrow will be better.

my weekend ended with a pizza coma...

...but it began with lasagna. have you noticed just how much i love food? i talk about food even more on twitter and facebook, but i just can't help it. i'm a woman obsessed. on friday we ended up staying at our friends' house later than we thought (with josh's lasagna to keep us energized) drinking wine and playing a game called compatibility. it was hilarious and so much fun! chris and i were way behind, but ended up coming back to win! saturday was a pretty lazy day, but i did put the finishing touches on things for charlottesville, which is where we went today.

my husband just told me to put "photo courtesy of chris tanner." now that we have photo credits out of the way, i can get back to the point. anyway, once we dropped everything off at the bridge, we headed to the downtown mall. if you're not familiar with it, the downtown mall isn't actually a mall at all. it's like an open air brick road for pedestrians, no vehicles, enclosed by a collection of individual shops and restaurants; it's a great place to go on a nice day. we went to bittersweet to look at toms, and to my surprise, they had a size 5 in stock! this never happens which is just one of the 500 reasons i hate my small feet! the toms above are the exact pair i want for christmas, but to be honest, i'll probably die of shock if i get them. chris doesn't understand the whole toms thing, but i keep telling him that if he wears a pair, he'll totally get it. so i'm keeping my fingers crossed! and to drive the point home even more (since my sweet, loving, handsome husband reads my blog), he better not bother coming home anymore if they're not wrapped and waiting for me on christmas morning!

once we finished there, i was starving, like always. somewhere i love going when i'm in charlottesville is rebecca's foods, which is a small natural foods store. we stocked up on coconut macaroons, chocolate covered blueberries, yogurt covered pretzels, and honey nut granola. i mean, it's organic, so it can't be that bad, right? RIGHT?!? we finished off our day with brick oven pizza, and that's when my food coma started. if i had to guess, i'd say i'm pregnant with not one food baby, but more like food triplets. i could go walk some dust off my treadmill, but i think i'll stay right here on the sofa until i go to bed tonight.

so, how has your weekend been? have you added anything to your christmas list yet?

my brain is a mess, and so is my desk.

before i get to the point, i've noticed that my blog has picked up a few new followers these last few days, so in the words of my friend adri, "oh hai!!!" (waves). she's funny! so, i'm pleased to announce that in just a few short days, my brain will no longer be a mess! i'm so excited to get my almost fully functioning mind back that i'm not sure what i'll do next! the last few weeks have been so incredibly busy with all the work i've been doing in preparation for the great gifts holiday shop (running at the bridge in charlottesville from november 26-january 29) that i haven't been able to think clearly, and my desk has been such a clusterf--- that i can't even see what's there. if i've neglected our friendship, not returned your calls or emails, or not commented on your blog, don't blame it on me, blame it on the fact that i can't multitask.

i've been making bullet necklaces like crazy, which i'm super happy about because i love any excuse to go to the gem shop! now my only problem is that i'm not sure about packaging. luckily i don't have to take my own display as the bridge is setting everything up, but i'm not sure if i should just put a little tag on the necklaces and let that be it, or if i should attach the necklaces to a card like i have the rings, which is what i do when i ship them. what do you think?

chris and i will take everything on sunday and then spend the day in charlottesville, which i'm really looking forward to. even though charlottesville is only an hour north, it's completely different than lynchburg (by different, i mean that it isn't run by the falwell cult); charlottesville is so much more artsy, open-minded and all around more welcoming. it just feels right there. anyway, that's where i'll be.

tomorrow we're going to our friends chris & jen's house and our friends josh and cossandra will also come with josh's world famous lasagna. it's so delicious it brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it. he still hasn't given me the recipe, so i'm thinking a threat of bodily harm is in order. so, i guess we'll meet again saturday or sunday! have a good week and weekend!

wishlist wednesday!

i haven't done a wish list in what feels like forever, but yesterday as i was searching "vintage robin" on etsy to find a picture to accompany my post, i found several things that i wouldn't mind unwrapping christmas morning...or tomorrow morning, doesn't really matter! so i thought i'd share, and ask you to play along and show us what you've been wishing for!

found here: lucy and ellen, the vintage mistress, sofralma, kit n' kaboodle vintage.

now, off the subject of birds and onto weather. i have to share because it was just so insane! yesterday it rained all day long, and it was so dark and foggy that i had to have a lamp on from the time i got up, otherwise i couldn't see what i was doing. at about 10:00 last night, as i was facebook stalking and chris was playing a video game, we heard what we thought was rain. it sounded like it was coming down so hard that it was going to break through the windows. believe me, i'm not the type that gets scared over storms or other crazy weather, but we had NEVER heard rain like that! chris went to look out of the front door and discovered that it wasn't rain at all, it was hail! and it was coming down so hard that you could barely see, and what we could see was that our yard was completely white from ice. is was nuts! did anyone else have that sort of weather yesterday?

if you want to play along, leave me a link to your wish list in the comments section, i'd love to see!

birds, birds, birds

of course you already know just how much i love birds (even though i've been told i'm too young to love birds so much, as if it's a pleasure only to be enjoyed in my senior years), but i feel like i need to say just how happy i am that i have a husband who will go out of his way to ensure that any and every bird around him is safe. yesterday as he was pulling into the parking lot at his office, he noticed a robin hopping dangerously close to the road. when he approached the robin and found that it wouldn't fly away, he scooped the robin up to save it from imminent danger. back in the summer, he stopped for a cardinal that had been hit and was sitting stunned and injured in the road, and made an emergency run to the grocery store up the road for a "survival kit." so chris made the same emergency run for the necessary items to help this robin until he could get in touch with gwen, our avian rehabilitator.

vintage robin mug from freckle wonder.

after meeting with gwen, chris discovered that the robin had most likely been clipped by a car, thus making flying difficult, but not impossible as it didn't seem to have a broken wing. gwen said that the robin most likely escaped a predator, due to the lack of tail feathers and the new pin feathers coming in. that lack of tail feathers makes turning and other maneuvers in flight more difficult, which could have caused the robin to be hit while trying to turn or land.

hopefully, very soon, chris and i will be fully licensed wildlife rehabilitators so we can start more inclusive emergency care on our own when a bird needs help. until then, we'll keep our eyes, hearts and doors open to any feathered or furry animal that needs us. that being said, i will now get on my soapbox...

animals were here before us, and if they're lucky, they'll be here after us. contrary to what so many people think, or at least the way so many people act, humans aren't the only ones who belong on this planet. animals are here for a reason, and it is IMPERATIVE that we help them to stay here. please, please, please do your part to help them. if you're not hands on, it's okay, just try to be mindful and not hit them with your car; you're not the only one on the road. if you would like to call me a hippie, i don't mind, i just love animals that much. thank you, the end.

if i grow to be the size of a house, it will be because of this...

i had originally thought that i wouldn't do a blog post today partially because i don't really feel all that great (which means i don't really want to use my brain) and partially because i have other things that really can't be put off any longer, but i caved and decided to share one piece of heaven on earth. okay, and cassandra may or may not have given me a little push!

if one day i become too big to fit through my front door, i will be able to completely blame it on my cranberry orange bread. i'm not a boastful person, but when it comes to this bread, i dominate! to tell you how much chris and i like adore it, i can make a loaf late one afternoon, and by breakfast the next morning, it's gone aside from a few little crumbs (that chris leaves on the counter). i thought i'd share the recipe so you can grow to epic proportions with me!

set bread machine to 1.5lb loaf, white bread setting, light color. add these ingredients:

1 1/4 cup warm orange juice

3 cups bread flower

2 1/2 TBSP sugar

1 tsp salt

2 TBSP dry milk

1 1/2 TBSP butter or margarine

1 3/4 tsp yeast (i use the kind in the jar)

3/4 cup cranberries

now, get to it! and if you don't have a bread machine, let's just make a bread date at my house. sound good? i'll admit, i HATE baking, but i love using my bread machine 1. because it's easy, and 2. because it makes the house smell good! do you have any good recipes to share?

my glorious loot and the time out chair.

yesterday my sweet thrifting buddy and i had a date. we started off with lunch, and because i love a good, greasy, heart-stopping lunch, i got a side of cheesesticks with my cheesy potato soup (i really like cheese). afterward, we did a little thrifting and came away with some pretty nice loot. micaela said that she and i were bad for each other because we would talk one another into buying all sorts of things, but i actually think we're perfect for each other, because if you don't get something you like from the thrift store, it probably won't be there when you go back. so, the way i see it, we're just saving each other from heartache! now, look on my treasures (i recently watched borat)...

i'm so painfully shy that i even feel weird when chris takes my picture. that's why i look like i do there. i really love the dress. i'm not allowed to wear jeans to work (which sucks, especially since all of my clients wear jeans and wouldn't be offended if i did), so i pretty much wear dresses year round. i like to look for dresses that work in the miserable summer heat, but still look cute with leggings, scarves, coats and boots in the winter. this one passes the four seasons test!

poor little native american man has a bad hair day, and i think he may be a little bit of a creeper. still, i think he's oddly cute. and because i'm now certifiably cat crazy, i just couldn't resist this sweet little planter. i mean, who doesn't love a yellow kitty playing with a giant ball of yarn?!?

last, and best of all, is The Chair. i love it so much i even capitalized its name! this is the one thing i'm SO glad micaela talked me into buying, because if i'd come home sans Chair, i probably would have cried. well, probably not, but maybe, thanks to my lady hormones. anyway, i told her that when chris saw it, he'd probably say, "what do you need a tiny Chair for???" but because chris is baby crazy and can't wait to be a dad, i'd say, "one day we'll have a kid, and they can sit in it," and then he'd like it. he did ask me what i needed with that Chair, and i explained all the reasons micaela gave me to support owning The Chair, and the things i could set on it. so, clearly he had to understand. but the real fun came when i told him what my plan was. since chris is 6'2" and The Chair is about 1' tall, i told him that it would be hilarious if he sat in it for a picture to go in this blog post! so he sat in The Tiny Chair, then i gave him a tiny book to read and we died laughing. it was so hilarious that i thought i'd wet my pants. so after we finally stopped laughing, chris did something to pick on me, and i told him to be careful or he'd have to go sit in The Timeout Chair. then the laughing started again. i can see The Chair will bring us lots and lots of joy, so thanks, micaela! and i've already decided that it will be mandatory for people who come to visit me have their picture taken in my tiny timeout Chair.

whew, i feel like i did a lot of rambling! anyway, i hope you've had a good weekend so far, and i hope you have a good monday!

what i've been working on

lately, i've been working on a lot. for example, this afternoon i was working on cranberry orange bread which is now warm and melting in my mouth. i don't expect it to last until tomorrow afternoon. aside from my unhealthy addiction to carbohydrates, i've been working on a ton of handmade items. some for pretty in pink, some for the great gifts holiday shop, and some for my shop. i've been making so much in fact, that one day i called chris all stressed and cranky and told him that i had to call it quits because i had blisters on my hands that made it too painful to even pick up my hammer or pliers! my hands are healed, and here is a peek at what i've been working on...

i've been making rings like crazy as i have a lot of stones that are awkward shapes and sizes, which make them less than ideal for putting in a custom setting and using as a pendant. i've also been making a lot of bullet and feather earrings. i don't actually wear earrings (aside from a tiny pair of studs) because flojo always pulls them out, but i've really started to LOVE making them, and sometimes it seems the only ideas i have are for earrings.

so, the jewelry is something i'm sure you were expecting to see, but here's the thing i've been working on that i'm really excited about...

that's right, there is now a DINOSAUR TOES DOT COM!!!!! oh yeah, and there are also now business cards that say dinosaur toes dot com, but i'm excited about the site. i got radical and added cardstock confetti because i'm just that excited. i sort of made one before, but i've been making a lot of changes, and i've added some things that aren't in my etsy shop. don't get me wrong, etsy is great, but i hate having to put the ".etsy.com" on business cards, and i especially hate trying to tell people the etsy shop address, because they don't pay attention to the shop name, they immediately ask, "what's etsy?" "how do you spell that?" "what does that mean?" so now i can avoid that and be all cool and professional when i say, "you can find my shop at dinosaur toes dot com."

also worthy of mentioning:

-i hate indian food, and i hate it with a passion, but the man who owns the restaurant is so nice i feel like i should support him.

-i'm about to eat more cranberry orange bread, then i'm going to eat a baked potato, because i feel like life isn't worth living if you can't pack it full of carbs.

-i have 9 rolls of film to be developed, so i called the camera store and tried to get the guy to give me a discount because of how many i have, but i had no luck. so i think i'm going to have to develop in stages so i don't spend a fortune all at once.

-my grandma is awesome and wants her very own bullet necklace.

-tomorrow i get to spend the day with my fiancee, and i'm hoping i find some good thrifted treasures.

-we're trying to get this lady and this man to have dinner with us, and the most exciting thing about it is that i get to play with princess reilly-anne who made me the queen and gave me a magic wand to wave around or use for stirring my pink sparkly ice cream. i don't think i've ever seen a little princess as cute.

how has your week been, and what do you have planned for the weekend?

i'm trying to find extra hours in the day.

i had planned on doing a different post today. i had planned on having pictures taken, business cards made and more time to do what i needed before the sun went down. but alas, the time change is seeking revenge and ruining everything!!! my pictures are a little too yellow, and because i'm completely anal about them, i won't even try to edit all the late-afternoon-sun-yellow out, i'll just wait until saturday and take all of them over. boo. so, tomorrow i'll do a "what i've been working on" post and show you my new business cards. and while i'm talking about working, here's what's been keeping me so pre-occupied... my inventory for the great gifts holiday shop in charlottesville. i've got just over a week left to finish everything, so i'm really rushing, but i'm also really excited!

it's a really random picture, but i hate doing posts sans images. anyway, that's what happens when i'm working because i'm pretty messy. so tomorrow i'll show you what i've been working on, plus i have one thing i can't wait to tell you!

in case you haven't yet entered, please don't forget to enter the vintage polaroid camera giveaway from kjrsten!

i guess that's all for now since i have a house to clean, dishes to wash, stuff to make and packages to get ready for shipment. how was your day today?

my husband, the celebrity

don't get me wrong, having an unemployed husband isn't all cotton candy and rainbows, but it isn't completely awful either. for years, chris has wanted an outlet for his writing, but has had no time to focus on it. a few weeks ago, he received an email from a lady at our local NPR affiliate wanting to record one of his stories to share on-air. one story is exciting, but after she read another, she wanted that one, too! chris went to the radio station this morning to read both of his stories for future air time. i'm so proud of him, and i hope this is the beginning of something amazing for my talented husband! this is a picture he took of a bluebird on our deck, and below is one of the stories (my favorite) he recorded today...

Copyright 2010 Christopher N. Tanner

"Whatcha eatin' Mocky Birdie?" I asked in an upbeat voice. Just then I realized I wasn't alone as another customer stepped from behind their car eyeing me nervously. I cast my gaze away from their questioning look and watched the Mockingbird take flight; a cricket lunch held firmly in its beak. I smiled seeing the flashes of white as its wings stroked the air. Because of the pattern of their wing stroke, the white feather bands show a circular effect during flight and I sometimes refer to this as their "propeller wings."

Lately I have been getting caught talking to birds more frequently. I am yet to understand if it is because I do it more frequently or if I am not as carefully aware of my surroundings when speaking to them. While I don't want to get the stigma of being some unbalanced lunatic conversing with myself, a love that my wife and I share for birds has affected us both to the point that we regularly talk to them. Of course there are very few that actually respond, Flojo, our parrot might reply for a taste of peanut butter or a chance to take a bath in the sink, but for the most part these discussions are all one-sided.

My pet names for birds don't help my embarrassment either, like when I was recently caught talking to the "Mocky Birdie" about his lunch menu. At home, telling a Crazy Crowsie that he scared off my Rusty Belly right in the middle of his mealy worm dinner won't matter, but walking down Main Street at lunch while inquiring about Mr. Cardinal's berry feast may cause other pedestrians to take a few extra steps in avoiding me.

My wife Danielle and I are constantly in tune with the birds chirping around us, but when with friends, if we start to spew over a rare bird or a strange avian occurrence it always amazes us that most often no one else has even noticed. If you walk outside and stand for just a few minutes you are bound to see at least one bird. At our house with multiple feeders, tons of birdhouses, woods, meadows, and streams, we are graced with viewing hundreds of specimens per day. Take a moment and look around sometime this week to see what birds you may find all around you. When you notice them once, you won't be able to go anywhere without seeing and hearing them again. Pretty soon, you might even start talking to them too!

my new friend, aunt cindy, and pictures

isn't that such an original title? it's all i could come up with. so, my weekend was pretty busy, but i really, really enjoyed it and wish i could do it again! saturday started off kind of slow, and although i knew i had TONS of things that needed to be drilled, i was just too lazy to do any of it. that afternoon, i went to my aunt cindy's house to start an engagement photo shoot (doesn't that make me sound so professional?) with my cousin emily and her fiancee, blake. while emily was getting ready, aunt cindy told me that she wanted to show me her new camera. my first thought was, "wow, i can't believe cindy got a digital camera" because i know she doesn't really do a lot with computers or cameras. so she reached up on her mantle and pulled this little gem off...

she said that she got it at a benefit yard sale and thought of me since 1. i like cameras, and 2. like everything old. and then she told me to keep it! i felt so bad taking it, but at the same time, i was so excited and instantly started to think of where i'd put it! when i told aunt cindy & uncle marc that i first thought, "wow, aunt cindy's going hi-tech," my uncle marc responded, "hey, that is hi-tech for us!" i wish you could all meet aunt cindy & uncle marc. they are seriously so fun to be around, and i have NEVER, EVER in my life been around them and not laughed so hard i almost wet myself. so anyway, that was awesome, and i can't stop staring at my new friend!
then, we started the photo shoot down at their lake and continued to the old city cemetery. it may sound weird to take pictures at such a creepy place, but it's truly beautiful, and a very historic place here in lynchburg, va. it's become one of the most popular places for any kind of photo shoot, and it's no surprise; the place really is gorgeous.

i've been doing some editing and playing, and i have a lot of work ahead of me, but i'm so excited about getting to be the photographer on such a special day for emily and blake! i' have so many ideas for the wedding photos, and since it won't be until next september, i have plenty of time to think of even more poses and props!

on sunday chris and i skipped church, and if you live in the south and skip church, then you can understand how we have to hear about it from everyone we know. ugh. anyway, i just kinda needed to vent. i had A LOT of work that i needed to do on sunday morning that i was too lazy to do on saturday, and it felt good to have all of that accomplished. chris and i got a late start leaving to go run some errands, but after we ate lunch, i asked him if he'd mind riding to the humane society. we ended up spending about an hour rubbing and playing with some beautiful cats and dogs, and of course i felt a little lonely when we left. because i love those animals even more than the pampered ones who've lived a life of luxury, i've been thinking a lot the last few months about volunteering. i looked at the application today, and it just may be something i'll do!

so, how was your weekend?

GIVEAWAY: a film lover's dream!

remember how i told you yesterday that kjrsten was going to host a giveaway? well, if you love film, and more importantly, instant film, then you just might die. i just might because i can't enter! one lucky winner will receive a WORKING vintage polaroid super shooter camera complete with a film pack, so you'll be all set to start capturing beautiful memories! here's the little gem up for grabs...

now, of course a giveaway always has rules. here they are:

1. because this vintage camera needs a little romancing, a tender touch, and a little more attention than a shiny new digital camera, we ask that you please only enter if you're truly interested in vintage photography.

2. to enter, you must be a follower of kjrsten's photography blog (with bloglovin', google reader, blogger, etc.).

3. leave a comment with your email address, and please only enter once.

now, go enter, and good luck! just for fun (and because she's a great photographer), here are some pictures kjrsten took with this type of camera...

getting to know the talented kjrsten

i'd like to introduce you to kjrsten of k. madsen photography. she's a stylish mom, blogger, artist, and all around amazing person. she was in the first group of people who started commenting on my blog, and she's still one of my favorites! kjrsten and her sister share a blog with outfit posts, home tours, and pieces of their life, but she also has a beautiful photography blog that i think you'll love! kjrsten was our first sponsor, and her photography makes me want to marry chris again! i did a little interview with kjrsten, and she was kind enough to offer a special giveaway, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see!

how did you get started with photography?

My mom was always trying to find ways to keep me busy during the summer when I was a kid (because she had 6 kids). I usually took art classes. When I was 11, I signed up for a darkroom class. (My mom had to pull some strings to get me in there since I was so young.) Seeing my photographs come to life in the developing tray was like black magic! It was so unreal to me that I made an image from start to finish... and that was it!

what was your first camera, and do you still have it?

I don't remember, I was 11 (that's 22 years ago), but I still have the first photograph I developed from the dark room. It's a photo I took of my baby sister, she was in her swimsuit playing in the sprinkler (I still remember that day, and exactly where we were standing).

tell us some of your favorite locations to photograph or use as a backdrop.

Oh man that is a tough question. I think it changes all the time. As far as photo sessions go, I like trying out new locations, I get bored fast in life, even with my photos. Shooting in new places feeds both my desire to explore, and the need to try something different.

if you could photograph any celebrity, public figure or icon, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

J.D. Salinger, at his home in all of it's reclusive glory. I am intrigued by him. And the fact that he gave his last interview in 1980, certainly would make the experience all the more extraordinary.

do you like cotton candy?

Oh fluffy pink sugar?! You bet your bottom dollar! I pretty much live on sugar. I am the ultimate suck of the universe cook. But I can bake sweets like there's no tomorrow.

tell us 5 facts about yourself and/or your photography.

1. I shoot 100% FILM! I prefer the look of film to digital. And also, it simplifies things for me, I can spend more time shooting and no time editing.

2. I met my husband in Moscow, Russia. That's where an american girl from Seattle goes to meet an american boy from Salt Lake City to find true love (apparently)!!! Yes it was romantic.

3. I adore shooting weddings the most. It's such a sacred day and I am honored each and every time I am selected to document it. I wish I could transport myself back in time to photograph the wedding of Dick and Raquel Dyer (my grandparents) Their love story is amazing, and plus, they were just a handsome looking couple!

4. I still spend time in the dark room on a weekly basis. It is the only place in the world where I can loose myself for 5 hours straight, and I don't even need to check my phone or eat, it's still magical for me. Although I wish we could bring Diet Cokes in there, I could use some of that while I am printing.

5. Have Camera(s) Will Travel. Yes, I am in Portland Oregon, but that won't stop me from shooting your wedding! My travel rates are competitive, drop me a line and we can chat. kjrst1@yahoo.com.

*i'm so in love with the horses kjrsten photographed that i had to know if she makes notecards. she says that she's been considering taking the plunge into an etsy shop. let her know that she should!

my husband might say i collect boots...

...and i would tell him i need a few more pairs before it's an official collection (wink). here's the problem i have: all of my boots are suede, and suede does not protect your feet well in rainy, snowy or icy conditions. my part time job as a field representative requires me to go from client to client to #1 get advertising information, and #2 be the happy, friendly face of the company, and i get to do it in all types of weather. i've been looking for a year or so for a pair of leather boots to keep my feet dry, but the main thing i wanted was a pair with a large enough circumference to fit over my skinny jeans without being so tight. i hadn't found any until lauren did an outfit post on her blog with this amazing pair of boots. i went to target the very next day and saw they had my size...jackpot #1. then i tried them on and saw that there was enough room for jeans...JACKPOT #2!!!

i got them in taupe because i thought that color would work with everything. the best part is that they were only $49.99, and while i know that isn't just pennies, it really is a hell of a deal for real leather boots. so i'm foreseeing many, many outfits for years to come that include these boots! the dress is french connection, but i was lucky enough to get it at the thrift store for $3!

you may remember me posting (a lot) back in the summer about the tiny baby kitties that i was raising. well, i've been missing them like crazy, and i swear every cat i see makes me miss them more. yesterday when micaela and i were at our favorite antique shop, i couldn't help but stop and rub a pretty long-haired black and white cat relaxing in the sun by a window. on my way home, i was so sad thinking about that soft kitty cat because i so badly want a feline friend to live with me. it's really crazy though, because i've always liked cats okay (we always had them when i was a kid), but i didn't give much thought to having a cat child...until i raised the kittens. now i'm cat crazy and all i can think about is having one curled up in my lap. that's random, i know, but i just can't stop thinking about cats.

thank you to miss stringbean studio for featuring dinosaur toes jewelry!
thank you to carla for being one thousand kinds of awesome, and for the blog feature!
if i'm forgetting anyone, please remind me, i'm terrible at remembering things.

what do you wear to find dusty treasures?

today micaela and i met up at our favorite spot for all things old and dusty to get jewelry for kjrsten's vintage jewelry swap. it feels like fall is finally here as today's high was predicted to be in the mid 50's, which means i finally get to make use of the best items in my closet/on my chair/on top of the dryer: cardigans! so, here's what i wear to search through overcrowded rooms for dusty treasures...and this face is for you, carla.

when it comes to my clothes, i'm incredibly plain. just throwing that out there. blouse - vintage from ebay years ago, cardigan - forever 21, jeans - i can't remember but they're my favorite pair, mocs - vintage minnetonka from mere trifles, turquoise ring - dinosaur toes. and of course micaela looked cute as always in a dress and heels (i swear, i need to start being more feminine).

i can't show you all of what i got because most of the items are for someone else, but here's what is staying with me:

the fabric is completely awesome. it was in a box with some really unfortunate 70's stretch polyester fabric, and of course that did not come home with me. it has some staining, but i'm going to wash it, and if that doesn't get the stains out, i'll still use what i can for lining or pockets of tote bags. if i haven't already told you, i'm completely obsessed with old frames. if in the future you see me on an episode of hoarders, it will be because i've been buried alive by old frames. this one is simple, but i really liked it, and i have a large art print that i think is this size exactly. the arrowhead thing was the focal piece of a bolo tie, but since i don't wear bolo ties, i'm going to drill through the top so i can put it on a chain as a pendant. it was too awesome not to come home with me!

last but not least, micaela and i are now engaged, so if you were thinking of asking for my hand (with the crooked fingers as you can so clearly see above), it's too late.

oh yeah, i almost forgot... i'm going to be emailing the winner of the ma cherie creations giveaway!