Welcome. This blog is my little home on the web. It's mostly about my favorite hobby, digital scrapbooking. You might also find some recipes, home decor projects, or parenting woes. But mostly digital scrapbooking.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Camera Shopping

I mentioned at the end of my last post that I've decided to buy a new camera.  So, I thought I would share which ones I'm considering.  First, here's what I want out of a camera:
  • Something small-ish and easy and fun to use
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • Good in low light (indoors)

I've decided to go with the new mirror-less interchangeable lens cameras.  I think that is where the technology is heading.

The Sony Alpha NEX-7 is at the top of my list right now.

This is my first choice right now based on positive reviews I read here, here and here.  But I'm looking forward to visiting a camera store to see if I can play around with one a little.  It will take me some time to save up the money, so I'm not in a real hurry.

The NEX-7 isn't my first choice in the outward appearance of the camera body ... I was really hoping to find something cute and retro like the Fujifilm X-Pro1

or even the Fujifilm FinePix X100, my favorite for its looks

This last one does NOT have interchangeable lenses, though.  I was seriously considering it after reading this recommendation.  However, the scientist sternly advised against it, because he thinks what I'll ultimately have the most fun with is the lenses and stuff. (These FujiFilm cameras are a bit more pricey too).

The camera I have right now is the Canon PowerShot SX 20 IS.  It has a zoom lens.  And compared to other compact cameras, it seems to give some decent control over the settings in Manual Mode.  From the reading I've done, other point and shoots with manual modes do not give you as much settings control as this one does.

I have not been overly happy with the photos I've taken with this camera and have not been taking a lot of pictures in the last several months.  (Miller is probably happy about that.)  But over the last few weeks, I've experimented with it a little more, even with the manual focus, and was happy with some shots I got.  I've had this idea that to get the blurry backgrounds you have to have the low aperture values, like 2 or less.  But the other day I was trying it out at the 50mm and 100mm focal lengths and got some pretty decent pictures with somewhat blurry backgrounds and foregrounds, with an aperture value around 5.  So, I'm optimistic that while I save up for my new camera, I can continue to learn from my old one. That's good, right? After all, the best camera is the one you have right now.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Patio Garden

I've felt so carefree lately. I got my article submitted for the May issue of the Artisan Notebook and my guest CT spot at Secret Stash designs has ended. There are no more deadlines looming. So how have I been spending my time? Gardening. Just a small container garden on our patio.  I love it.  We've got lettuce and some herbs, strawberries planted in half of Miller's sand table, and the wildflower sprouts are starting to poke through the soil. We caught some ladybugs at the park and brought them home - they ate up all the aphids! We even put up a hummingbird feeder, and on Sunday we saw a hummingbird take a drink!

Here is a layout all about my little garden.
Mix and Match Templates I by Scrapping with Liz; Spring Chase by Kaye Winiecki;
Dear Mom by Valorie Wibbens; Life365 Celebrating Color Alphas, Hodge Podge 15 and Paint It 2 and Vintage
Bling by Gina Marie Huff; Straight Line Stitched White No. 2 by Anna Aspnes;

This was a list layout I made for the Artisan Notebook. I don't believe I've ever scrapped a list before, so I thought I would try something new. I love how it turned out.
List Templates by Scrapping with Liz; The Everyday Papers and Dear Mom by Valorie Wibbens; The Way
We Were(n’t) volume 5 by Allison Pennington; Every{DAY} Life, and Sweet & Simple Life Kits #4 and #7
by Gina Marie Huff Designer Single flowers by Wendy Page; Machine Stitching by Julie Bullock;
My Project Volume 3 by Captivated Visions

I mentioned my Mad Men obsession recently, didn't I? I don't have cable, but luckily one of the other preschool moms does ... so we're getting an extra special Mom's Night Out every week to watch Mad Men! Here is a page about the show, my take on some of the characters.
Social Templates by Scrapping with Liz; Photobooth by Paislee Press; Euphoria by creashens;
Everyday Essentials Papers by Gina Marie Huff; Images from AMC site mostly

This next layout is one that I've been thinking about for months. Miller is really into anatomy, inspired from some of the books we have, shown in photographs in this layout. I wish I had better photos of his skin inked up with muscles, bones and organs. The first time we did it I took a lot of care and really made them look great.  After the second and third times ... well, I rushed it a little and they didn't look as good.  That was when we took these photos.
Mix and Match Doubles 1 by Scrapping with Liz; Love + Grace charity collab kit; A Fresh Start by Karen Funk; Sweet & Simple Life #3 and Life 365 Hodge Podges 5 and 13 by Gina Marie Huff
On another note, I've recently decided to buy a camera.  It will take me a while to save up the $$, like a year.  I have a monthly scrapping budget which I spend on digi kits.  Now I'm saving that money instead for my new camera ... but iNSD is just a couple weeks away. I hope I can be strong.