I'm channeling Terry Richardson, I think.

Maison Trompe

Doesn't this window scream for shutters?! We have big plans for shutters, but until that time, I thought I'd give them a little oomph. So I added a little trompe l'oeil border.
Can you even tell? I think it looks much better. Has more weight.
I just taped a border using a piece of the same tape as a template. First I taped around the trim, keeping the tape right up against the original trim. (I made you an example and photographed it in terrible lighting)!
Once that was pressed into place, I taped around the tape.
When that was pressed into place,  I removed the first piece of tape and I was left with a 2" border.
 Does that make any sense? It's a lot easier than using a level and measuring tape and pencils...If you've learned anything from me, it's that I'm lazy.

Before I painted the aqua, I first did a coat of the house color to seal the edges of the tape. Because the stucco is so bumpy, it's hard to get a perfect line.When the brown layer dried, I painted the aqua over that. You can kind of see in the pic below...
See? Nice clean line! Only a few spots I had to fix! And you can also see how I'm faking the trim. It looks a little better from a distance. Who looks at houses up close anyway?!
Ahhhh,...much better...Now I just need to remove that horrible tree!
But I think John started hiding the saws from me...

Photodyssey: Buildings and Boys

I'm in the middle of figuring out my new DSLR camera and the best way to do it just to shoot. But how many photos of my dishes can I take? So we drove to the picturesque town of Solvang, just north of Santa Barbara, to discuss aperture, shutter speed and ISO.

Not that I learned anything. I just took pictures and yelled at John, "Why is it so light?!"
And, "Why is it so dark?!"
Then we had a snack. A raspberry buttercream snack.
Then more yelling to John, who used to have an SLR camera back in the 80's, (which is when Hartwell thinks everything old is from), so he knows a lot about photography.
Baby steps. 

Back to boys. Much easier...
Night shooting? I'll give it a whirl.
The boys were as patient as boys can be, so we went back to the hotel and played Life. Which is so much more depressing to play as an adult. And, of course, Beckett won. Even though he barely played and mostly skipped around the room like a little squirrel. Maybe we can learn from that? Which would be, it's okay, my mom is playing for me!

The next morning, we woke up early for pancakes. Hartwell likes to do the pose from the Nintendo DS commercials. Everywhere.
After breakfast, I forced the boys to walk around and let me take pictures of them. It was cold. And the boys were uncooperative. Luckily, this bakery was amenable.
Pretty sure I yelled at them to get this photo.
And then it all fell apart. Too cold!
Back to buildings.

I was waiting for this place to open. Jule Hus, Christmas all year round! I needed candles for my german pyramid advent thing. And I can only find them online and I can never tell if they are the right size. Found some for $5. Yay, me!
More photos.

I think the first thing to do to feel like a fancy photographer is to set your camera to sepia. Fancy.
Bye to Solvang, and now back home. John wanted a photo of this crazy log cabin farm house and barn. But we were driving. So I had to continuous shoot out the window. Which made the foreground blurry. Which made it look miniature. Adorable!
Just keep shooting...
And finally back to the park where Beckett finally decided to try the zip line. He went once and swore it off. Then went one more time.
It's sort of a weird thing, a photo vacation. I still know very little about my camera, but I am also less likely to keep it on auto now. Mostly I like taking photos of the boys. Which was nearly impossible with their not sit stillableness. Always on the move. Always with great faces that get blurred.

Always saying, "Mom...stop taking my picture!"

A short story, in pictures.

Rose Parade 2013!

Definitely one of the best parts about living in Pasadena is going to the Tournament of Roses Parade. We used to just wing it, but I have a friend whose family sets up chairs every year. Some of the cousins spend the night and save the seats 'til the next morning.

The street is completely blocked off and you can see all the empty chairs that get set up along the parade route. That's me texting my friend to make sure we were in the right spot. For Californians, we did pretty good in the warmth department!
After we found our seats, Hartwell bought blue cotton candy for himself and his brother.
We still had about an hour until the parade started. Hartwell was bored. Even with his DS!
Until my friends broke out the jump rope and the kids got crazy! A family across the street cheered for all the jump ropers. Pretty sure it made Hartwell's day!
Beckett found a friend. They were pretty hilarious together.
Finally, the parade!
John and I were looking forward to seeing the La Canada float. We were in La Canada, at the Sprouts, trying to buy split peas for our leftover ham bone. We went to the bulk bins and the split peas were gone! I asked the Sprouts lady where I could find them and she said, "Are you with the La Canada rose parade people?"
 Turns out they requested 25 pounds! of split peas for their float! We found a few small bags in another section, the last of the split peas. But now we had to see the float.
See all that green?! No soup for you!

And finally, Hartwell's favorite float. The Disney's California Adventure float!
When the parade is over, all the tow trucks who were on call for the floats drive the route honking loudly. Followed by "The End is Near" sign holders. And this year, followed by the Occupy Wall Street people. Who didn't use ANY flowers to decorate their non-float. And seemed pretty depressed.

 I think flowers would've helped.